Perception and Action in Immersive Worlds


A unique event took place in San Diego on July 16, 2013, organized by vision scientist Sergei Gepshtein and narrative designer Alex McDowell.

The one-day symposium called Perception and Action in Immersive Worlds celebrated the rapidly growing interaction between two communities: researchers engaged in the scientific study of human perception and action and the practitioners of interactive and immersive narrative media technologies. The scientists and artists discussed human behaviour and conscious experience vis-a-vis physical, social, and imagined realities represented in purely virtual worlds, as well as in the “mixed” worlds that interlace physical and virtual realities.

The goal was to find a common space between arts and sciences. This space has opened up only recently, thanks to the new immersive and narrative technologies. The organizers wanted to make the symposium door-opening, concentrated on finding a common language. The participants were asked to make their presentations short, and the number of slides small, to create the room for dialogue and interaction.

The event was inspired by the Hay Research Project and the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, hosted by the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness (ASSC), and sponsored by the Neurosciences Institute and the 5D Institute. The organizers extend their gratitude to David Edelman, the chair of ASSC‘17, for his generous support – financial, logistic, and intellectual, and to Michael Peyser of USC School of Cinematic Arts who offered his masterful help to moderate the event.