Cyberpunk Review » Body Swapping proven (theoretically) possible.

December 4, 2008

Body Swapping proven (theoretically) possible.

Sources: Wired, PLoS One

Body Swapping Research

Before I judge my neighbor, let me walk a mile in his moccasins. - Sioux proverb.

In what has to be major proof of science fiction becoming science reality, neuroscientists at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institutet have shown that a person’s ‘conscious’ can be moved between bodies by using virtual reality headgear. The people reported feeling like they were in the new body as if it was their own. The full report can be read and downloaded from the Public Library of Science One (PLoS One).

“The present findings could have groundbreaking industrial and clinical applications” write neuroscientists Valeria I. Petkova and H. Henrik Ehrsson of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. “Experiencing ‘becoming’ a humanoid robot in tele-robotics and feeling ownership of simulated bodies in virtual reality applications would probably enhance user control, realism, and the feeling of ‘presence.’”


Freaky Friday… Any day of the week. While tele-robotics may be the most immediate application of the body-swap phenomenon, it’s possible to apply this to some more fun uses:

Imagine surfing the nets Tron-like, or engaging in online deathmatches or quests using tele-presence: Would you alter your tactics if you felt like you could actually die online? How would Deus Ex or System Shock feel playing inside the games? Would you feel the G-forces of a flight or driving simulation?

Of course, cyberspace would only be the beginning. How does a meatbot sound to you? A Remote controlled human fresh from the clone vats and piloted by tele-presence to do your bidding. Or maybe a “backup” clone of yourself that you can send into dangerous areas to throw would-be assassins and religious trash off. Or maybe “masquerading” as Osama bin Laden or George W. Bush (to undo the harm they’ve done), or as Ron Jeremy or Sarah Palin or… Your meatbot doesn’t even need to be the same sex as you!

In conclusion, these experiments have demonstrated how remarkably easy it is to ‘move’ a human centre of awareness from one body to another. This speaks directly to the classical question of the relationship between human consciousness and the body, which has been discussed by philosophers, psychologists, and theologians for centuries. The continuous integration of multisensory and motor signals in ego-centric reference frames thus maintains the co-alignment between the experienced self and the physical body.


December 4, 2008

kabukiman said:

Wow, finally I will be able to play Deus ex as it should be, in true first perspective!

Mr No1 said:

Wow, finally I will be able to have sex with myself without going into hermaphroditical sex enhancements!

Mrsitar said:

I can finally get that avatar I wanted.

December 6, 2008

Adam Daub said:

I got into HUD tech awhile back when I owned a Gamestore/Cybercafe. I purchased a few of Phillips different models of VR sets that allowed you to wire it into composite, S-video, VGA, etc. A set that has a full wrap on the peripharel vision (not just stereoscopic) is a wild experience for those who’ve ever tried it. I can’t imagine it being too healthy though. After running it into numberous first person shooters and various other games it definately begins to fuck with your inner ear.
Most of the older models literally had auto kill switches that shut the device off after a 30 minute use. (I can only begin to imagine how much I fried my vision with these things)
Anyhow, great article… good find. :D

December 8, 2008

Mojo said:

Basically they mounted some cameras in head gear and transmitted the signal to another head set, maybe the worn version had a gyro that rotated the one on the dummy or whatever.

It’d be more intriguing if they tapped some parts of the neural network and optical nerves.

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