The Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL) at Stanford University was founded in 2003 by Professor Jeremy Bailenson, associate Professor of Communication at Stanford University. The lab conducts research for the Communication Department.
The Lab is to understand the dynamics and implications of interactions among people in immersive virtual reality simulations (VR), and other forms of human digital representations in media, communication systems, and games. Researchers in the lab are most concerned with understanding the social interaction that occurs within the confines of VR, and the majority of our work is centered on using empirical, behavioral science methodologies to explore people as they interact in these digital worlds. However, oftentimes it is necessary to develop new gesture tracking systems, three-dimensional modeling techniques, or agent-behavior algorithms in order to answer these basic social questions. Consequently, we also engage in research geared towards developing new ways to produce these VR simulations.
Stanford has committed substantial resources toward a complete overhaul of the lab. The construction of this multi-million dollar facility is almost complete, and in May it will provide one of the most compelling combination of three senses—sight, sound and touch—in any virtual reality lab in the world.
The Research Center for Virtual Environments and Behavior is a multi-disciplinary research organization at the University of California, Santa Barbara devoted to understanding the complex interplay of computer-generated virtual environments and human behavior. ReCVEB enables researchers to conduct pioneering research and break new ground in a fast growing technological enterprise with important societal ramifications. ReCVEB facilitates the development of virtual-environment based research methods relevant to the scientific study of human behavior and advancement of the capabilities and effectiveness of virtual environment technology and software. Given the interest and expertise, both scientific and technical, of UCSB scholars, as well as the level of external funding accrued, ReCVEB has become one of the leading virtual environment research centers in the world.
Immersive virtual environment technology allows one to place ambulatory individuals within illusory contexts simulating physical and social environments completely controlled by researchers. Individuals can and do act relatively unrestrictedly and in real time within such virtual worlds. At ReCVEB, members use virtual environment technology to investigate behavioral science issues scientifically.