Hack Your Reality The Virtual Way

Our brains create the world in which we live, both from direct perception and from our memories. One of the most important capacities that we have is the ability to distinguish memories of events that actually happened, as opposed to other thoughts and feelings.

Ann Schlosser, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Washington, thinks she has found a way to hack your internal reality - what you believe you remember - by using virtual reality displays.

She tested how well people used a camera after learning its functions in two different ways: through text and still photos, and through interactive virtual renditions of the camera. She found that virtual experiences did improve the subjects memories of the camera's functions.

However, it also increased "false memories" - more people believed it could do things that it couldn't do. Professor Schlosser states:

"Although object interactivity may improve memory of associations compared to static pictures and text, it may lead to the creation of vivid internally-generated recollections that pose as memories... [emphasis added]

The benefits of learning via virtual experience may come with costs: the ease of generating mental images may create later confusion regarding whether a retrieved mental image was perceived or imagined."

I'm always interested in how modern science is bringing us closer to being able to purchase extra-factual memories, as detailed in Philip K. Dick's 1966 short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale.
"Is an extra-factual memory that convincing?" Quail asked.

"More than the real thing, sir...our analysis of true-mem systems - authentic recollections of major events in a person's life - shows that a variety of details are very quickly lost..."
(Read more about extra-factual memories)

This story is, of course, the basis for the movie Total Recall, starring the governor of California, Arnold Schwartzenegger.

If you're looking forward to extra-factual memories as much as I am, you'll enjoy these stories:

From ScienceDaily.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/6/2006)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Culture ")

Lumo Projector Turns Kids Rooms Into Bradbury's Veldt
'The walls began to purr and recede... and presently an African veldt appeared...'- Ray Bradbury, 1951.

Hologram Protest World's First
'Their bodies were in their dwelling cells, but their telucid images filled the hall.'- RF Starzl, 1931.

Norlin Shoe Drone Robot UAV In-Store Delivery Thing
'Robot-salesmen were everywhere, gesturing, pleading, shrilling.'- Philip K Dick, 1954.

Brand Killer Helmet Blocks Real-Life Ads
'Some merely held the holos [ads] at arm's length.'- John Varley, 1977.


  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.






Current News

Harvard's Robobees Now 'Fly' Underwater
'...the Scarab buzzed into the great workroom as any intruding insect might, and sought the security of a shadowed corner.'

ADEPT Heat Shield Works For Mars
'...A synthetic which air-friction would erode away...'

Ultralight Origami Crane UAV Flexes Its Wings
'They began to flex their wings.'

UM Solar Car Now Also With IBM Research Power
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

Robot-Based Trash Collection
'Robots pick up the garbage and junk and load it in there...'

Warrior Web Exoskeleton For Soldiers Undergo Tests
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...'

Tesla Promises Fully Autonomous Cars By 2018
'It's been a criminal offense for at least a hundred years to drive manually on a public highway.'

Light Molecules (And Maybe Light Sabers, Someday)
'It will be matter, matter made of light...'

Telepresence In The Office
'That led to his development of robot probes; small devices with cameras and sound equipment which could move freely... under direct control.'

Piper, Google's 2 Billion Line Code Repository, Needs A Cool Display
'The student pointed a finger and as he did so, the line of equations marched down the wall...'

WEpod Driverless Vehicle On The Netherlands Roads
'The car moved smoothly away. Mirelly-Lyra half relaxed; she was not steering.'

Computer Predicts Psychosis Better Than Psychiatrists
'The mechanism which was the portable extension of Dr. Smile...'

Robot Evolution Needs Mass Extinction Events
'It was small, one of the baby ones.'

Lab-Grown Kidneys Implanted Successfully - In Animals
'For a while your colonists will have to come up to the Hospital to get treatment with the ramrobot symbiots...'

Korean Lab Ready To Clone Your Dog
Man's best friend, cloned.

DARPA NeuroTech Hand With Natural Sensation
'Take care, sir.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.