Exploring the Human Mind through AI, VR, and Neuroscience at Penn’s Virtual Reality Lab

The presentation argues that integrating artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and neuroscience can drive advancements in both scientific understanding of the human mind and the development of more intuitive, accessible, and culturally-aware technologies.

Drawing on interdisciplinary research conducted at the University of Pennsylvania’s Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence Lab, it will highlight innovative applications leveraging the convergence of these fields to examine the neural foundations of perception, emotion, learning, memory, and decision-making.

VR enables the simulation of complex environments to study human responses, providing insights into the mechanisms behind cognitive processes. AI complements this by modeling these processes and generating adaptive simulations that blur the line between real and virtual. Anthropological perspectives enrich this intersection by situating technological impacts within broader social contexts and questioning implications for cultural diversity.

Collaboration across these disciplines paves the way for AI and VR innovations that respect the complexity of human nature.

Jeffrey Vadala
Director, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence Lab, University of Pennsylvania