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Embodiment in therapy: the VitraS project


At this meeting, our new expert board member Sebastian Keppler presented the BMBF-funded research project VitraS, in which he is involved as a project collaborator (lead at HTW: Prof. Habakuk Israel, also expert on the board of XR_Unites).

The focus of VitraS is on virtual reality therapy by stimulating modulated body perception, for example in obesity patients – it is thus a true embodiment project in a medical context. Based on Sebastian’s talk, a mutually fruitful exchange developed at the intersection of art, humanities, informatics and health.

Common topics were, for example, normative body images and barely existing »marginal body forms« in the digital world, facial expressions of avatars, counter-gendered hand models, body awareness and the potential of the mirror – symbolizing self-knowledge in visual art – to mediate perception of one’s own (avatar) body. The fact that body images are always mediated by media was also discussed – a fact that has enormous relevance for body perception in times of Instagram face filters and remote conferencing and reinforces the often unhealthy orientation towards idealized norms in our contemporary Western society.

VitraS is a cooperation of HTW Berlin with the University of Würzburg (lead), University of Bielefeld, SRH University of Health Gera, The Caputry GmbH, TU Munich, brainboost GmbH, CBMI.

We thank Sebastian Keppler for the great lecture and exchange!

For more info on the VitraS project, see here.