The hippocampus (the brain region responsible for learning and

The world is currently
bombarded with diverse forms of technology. One of these technologies is
virtual reality, an innovation that is utilized in video games, military batter
field and rehab centers. However, a study in rats proved that the virtual
reality environment affects the brain differently than it experiences in the
real world (Urdea & Coiffet, 2003). For example, while in virtual reality
setup, the brain failed to form a mental map of the surrounding environment as
it forms in the real-life setting. As a result, researchers and scientists have
suggested the reaction in rat’s brains provides clues on how the technology
could be utilized in restoring human navigating ability and memory (Cherniack,
2011). However, the difference in reaction of the hippocampus (the brain region
responsible for learning and memory) and the mental map ability during the
virtual reality experience brings us to the question whether virtual reality
affects the brain.

Virtual reality distorts
the natural brain mental maps. Biologically, the brain has neurons that
continuously map out the individual’s environment and position in real-life.
These neurons are referred to as the hippocampal neurons. During the rats
experiment with the virtual reality environment, their neurons began firing up
randomly. This is a sign that they did not understand where they were. In
simplicity, virtual reality completely distorts the mental reality (Moffat
& Resnick, 2002).

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Additionally, Moffat
& Resnick (2002) presents that virtual reality has the ability to confuse
the brain due to the increasingly conflicting information and data. The
occipital lobe located at the back of the brain acts as the vision center and
is actively involved in interpreting the virtual visuals in the virtual reality
environment. However, other brain centers such as parietal lobe involved in
interpreting touch would be sensing something different (Moffat & Resnick,
2002).

Finally, virtual
reality may damage the sequences in which memories are stored in the brain
thereby resulting in psychological effects. In the human brain, neurons are the
key part responsible for the creation of memory in diverse channels. However,
immediately the virtual reality is introduced, the natural memory storage
channels are disrupted. As a result, McKie, (2017) concludes that virtual
reality has the potential of affecting the manner in which brain balance and memory
ability.

Conclusion

Despite the suggestion
that virtual reality would be utilized in treating brain injuries, a
cost-benefit analysis proves that the costs which are negative in nature are
weighty. For example, if memories are negatively stored, there is a high chance
that the individual will begin experiencing psychological effects. Additionally,
the extensity of the effects in virtual reality environments has the potential
of damaging critical brain parts such as occipital lobe responsible for vision.
For instance, fooling the brain that the eyes are looking at a far distance may
result in an unexpected stretch of the codes resulting in eye damage.

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