The creator of Second Life is helping scientists explore your brain. Philip Rosedale has collabored with neuroscientists in California on a system that, as Fast.Company reports, offers a virtual reality tour of "a person’s brain reacting to stimuli in real time." It does this with the help of many tools, including MRI scans and EEG electrodes that record a subject's brain activity. But the magic lies with Oculus Rift, which allows someone else to get an up close (and live) peek at your brain.
Rosedale demonstrated the "glass brain" system at SXSW earlier this month with the help of his wife. Flashes of light helped pinpoint her brain activity (based on the EEG data) and Rosedale was able to journey through her brain while wearing a Rift VR headset. "I put my hand on her side and squeezed, and you could see the motor cortex activity lighting up all of a sudden," he told Fast Company. The system helps visualize EEG signals as they travel in pulses between regions of the transparent "glass" brain. Rosedale's company, High Frequency, is currently working to create a new virtual world after his enormously successful first try. And he seems to think the science project — which was primarily the work of scientists at UCSD and UCSF — could help in that mission. "We’re trying to identify which critical factors can most help people feel like they’re face to face," he said.