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Bernstein Virtual Reality Facility

Despite being multimodally-driven the neural representation and processing of space and time is traditionally investigated separately for different sensory systems. This is mainly due to the fact that until recently multimodal stimulation was hard to accomplish. New developments that make use of computer-generated environments help to overcome these limitations. In such virtual realities it is possible to simultaneously present, e.g., accoustic and visual stimuli. Moreover, virtual reality systems help to overcome the spatial restrictions of typical lab rooms and hence enable experiments with more comprehensive and natural stimulus environments.

Funded by the BMBF a facility for experiments with virtual reality (VR) was installed at the Bernstein Center Munich. The Bernstein Virtual Reality Facility consists of two independent setups, each customized for the generation and presentation of virtual environments to either humans or rodents. Each setup allows the presentation of a visual as well as an acoustical virtual environment that can be linked to the actual movement of the individual inside the virtual environment. An identical software layout for both setups ensures that every audio-visual virtual environment implemented for one of the setups can also be used in the other.

For details on the two different setups see