Invited Talk 
Prof Maria V. Sanchez-Vives
Barcelona, Spain

Transforming the body in VR


During the last 20 years, evidence of brain plasticity at all levels has accumulated. One manifestation of brain plasticity is the capability of humans to adapt to transformations of their own body. However, except for lesions, this is not something that occurs naturally in the real world. VR is a tool that allows us to test in a flexible way the extent to which we –our brains- can accept a virtual body as its own, even if such a body is radically transformed. In this talk I will discuss a number of experiments where the body has been altered, and the potential uses of this technology.

Speaker's Brief Bio

Maria V. Sanchez-Vives, MD, PhD has been ICREA Research Professor at the IDIBAPS (Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer) since 2008, where she is head of the Systems Neuroscience group. She is Adjunct Professor of the Department of Basic Psychology at the University of Barcelona. She previously held a position as Associate Professor of Physiology and head of lab at the Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante in Spain (UMH-CSIC). After obtaining her PhD, she was a postdoctoral researcher at Rockefeller University and Yale University. Her independent research on neuroscience and virtual reality has been supported by national and international agencies (Human Frontier Science Program and the EU) and she has been the supervisor of nine defended PhD thesis. She has been a partner in five EU grants and currently is the coordinator of the FP7 project CORTICONIC. She is Specialty Chief Editor of Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience.

Her interests include information processing in the cerebral cortex, body representation and the use of virtual reality from a neuroscience and medical perspective.