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Open AccessEditorial

Understanding Social Cognition Using Virtual Reality: Are We still Nibbling around the Edges?

IRCCS Centro Neurolesi Bonino Pulejo, 98124 Messina, Italy
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Brain Sci. 2020, 10(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10010017
Received: 19 December 2019 / Revised: 24 December 2019 / Accepted: 27 December 2019 / Published: 28 December 2019
Virtual Reality (VR) has a variety of applications in various fields of study, including social work and human performance training. Useful information regarding the neurobiological underpinnings of social cognition (SC) has been obtained from the use of VR. This was mainly achieved by substituting the use of simple and static stimuli (that lack many of the potentially important aspects of real-world activities and social interactions) with fully interactive, three-dimensional computerized models of social situations that can be fully controlled by the experimenter, and can simulate a real-world setting as recently pointed out by Parsons et al. (Virtual Reality for Research in Social Neuroscience. Brain Sciences, 2017). As a consequence, the cognitive training in the field of SC and, broadly, social neuroscience, has greatly benefited from the use of VR. However, specific issues concerning the VR neurophysiological underpinnings remain to be clarified, as well as the social and cultural consequences of VR technologies focusing on the processing of social information and the consequences arising from the understanding of self and others. Notwithstanding, it is important to remark that VR-based social neuroscience scenarios can reliably enhance the affective experience and social interactions, whether added to or coupled with traditional cognitive behavioural therapy. View Full-Text
Keywords: virtual reality; social cognition; social neuroscience; sense of presence; motor-cognitive rehabilitation virtual reality; social cognition; social neuroscience; sense of presence; motor-cognitive rehabilitation
MDPI and ACS Style

Calabrò, R.S.; Naro, A. Understanding Social Cognition Using Virtual Reality: Are We still Nibbling around the Edges? Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 17.

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