Prof Mel Slater


Event Lab, University of Barcelona, ES

Institute of Neurosciences, University of Barcelona, ES

Body Representation in Virtual Reality

How the brain represents the body is a fundamental question in cognitive neuroscience. Experimental studies are difficult because ‘the body is always there’ (William James). In recent years immersive virtual reality techniques have been introduced that deliver apparent changes to the body extending earlier techniques such as the rubber hand illusion, or more completely substituting the body by a virtual one visually collocated with the real body, and seen from a normal first-person perspective. This talk will introduce these techniques, and also show that changing the body can change the mind – including physiological, behavioral, attitudinal, and cognitive changes.


Mel Slater is a Distinguished Investigator at the University of Barcelona, and co-Director of the Event Lab (Experimental Virtual Environments for Neuroscience and Technology). He was previously Professor of Virtual Environments at University College London in the Department of Computer Science. He has been involved in research in virtual reality since the early 1990s, and has been first supervisor of 40 PhDs in graphics and virtual reality since 1989. He held a European Research Council Advanced Grant TRAVERSE 2009-2015 and has recently started a second Advanced Grant MoTIVE 2018-2022. He is Field Editor of Frontiers in Virtual Reality, and Chief Editor of the Human Behaviour in Virtual Reality section. His publications can be seen on