CHI 2020 best paper award!


Our paper “Isness: Using Multi-Person VR to Design Peak Mystical-Type Experiences Comparable to Psychedelics” (doi:10.1145/3313831.3376649 & arxiv.2002.00940) has been recognized with a best paper award at the 2020 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing! Less than 1% of all paper submissions receive this award, so it’s really exciting!

The paper describes our efforts adapting “Narupa” (our open source VR software platform) to elicit ‘mystical-type experiences’ comparable to those reported by participants in psychedelic psychotherapy sessions. It builds on a body of work by a number of researchers, including Prof. Roland Griffiths, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist at the Johns Hopkins Centre for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research, who has investigated both naturally occurring & drug-induced ‘mystical type experiences’, and also Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris at the Imperial College Centre for Psychedelic Research, who speculated in a March 2018 paper that psychedelics combined with VR might have therapeutic benefits in a neuro-psychopharmacology context.

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