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Potential Effects On The Body As A Result Of Fdvr

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#1 CaelesMessorem

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 03:23 PM

   First, let me state that this topic is carried out under the assumption that our bodies respond to a full-dive as though we are in stages 3 & 4 of deep sleep, otherwise known as REM, in both short-term and long-term use. That being said, if anyone has anything else to add, whether they concur with what I say or have input based on our bodies responding in a different manner, please feel free to contribute. Most of the references I will be making come from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, with any other sources being listed as needed.

 

   As most know, sleep is essential for the proper function of both our bodies and minds. Lack of restful sleep, or sleep altogether, can have adverse effects ranging from impairment of motor functions to problems with your immune system. Being that we still require important bodily functions to operate while we are in a full-dive, it's relatively safe to assume that we will be in a state identical to that of sleep, if not actually being asleep. That being the case, most issues with the body will likely be similar to those listed in the link above. This isn't taking into consideration any interactions or trauma experienced while in VR, or the amount of time spent in a dive. When the dive itself and the amount of time spent in the dive are factored into any issues the body may face mid-dive, problems are likely to be compounded. I will list specific concerns as I find them while I look into it.

 

   In the mean time, what are some thoughts/ concerns on the matter?



#2 CraigD

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 11:18 PM

First, let me state that this topic is carried out under the assumption that our bodies respond to a full-dive as though we are in stages 3 & 4 of deep sleep, otherwise known as REM, in both short-term and long-term use.

Accepting this assumption (which I’m not sure is correct), or simply that our bodies in FD would be in a sleeplike state of muscular atonia, then the main health risk would, I think, be similar to that of ordinary computer gaming – muscular and cardiovascular deterioration due to lack of exercise, malnutrition, and more acutely dangerous, dehydration and electrolyte depletion. Though it’s rare, some people have been seriously harmed or even died from excessive computer gaming. A FD system would, I imagine, be inherently able to monitor vital signs, so could have safety feature built into it to prevent users from such self abuse.
 

Being that we still require important bodily functions to operate while we are in a full-dive, it's relatively safe to assume that we will be in a state identical to that of sleep, if not actually being asleep

While FD might be similar to REM sleep, I don’t think it could be similar to NREM sleep. When in NREM sleep, the brain has almost no awake-like activity, so would not, I think, be able to experience a virtual reality simulation.

NREM sleep appears to be essential to be the physiologically restful part of sleep in which metabolic accumulated waste is removed from the brain, and its glycogen reserves replenished. So while somewhat sleeplike, FD couldn’t be a replacement for sleep. A consequence of this is that, if you spent much of your day in FDVR, you’d have little actual waking time to drink, eat and exercise.

Assuming a “perfect” FD system – that is, one that could practically perfectly read and write as quickly as needed to any number of individual neurons in the body - many of these problems could be solved. The system could exercise the body in every necessary way, independently of the VR simulation being experienced. Your brain would still need the physiological effects of NREM sleep, but this sleep could be integrated into the VR experience, so that you experienced falling asleep and waking in the VR, rather than the actual, real world.

Speculating about variously “perfect” FD brings to my mind an interesting possibility: that you could learn skills in FD that you could use in the real world. For example, a FDVR program could teach you how to perform world-class gymnastics, Kung Fu, pole vaulting, etc., which, assuming your body was physically capable of it, you could then perform in the real life. A FDVR program could teach you to play a musical instrument, which you could then play in real life. A FDVR program could give you an excellent arts or science education. And so on.

Sources: many, including “Why Do Humans and Many Other Animals Sleep?”, Neuroscience, 2nd edition, Editors: Dale Purves, George J Augustine, David Fitzpatrick, Lawrence C Katz, Anthony-Samuel LaMantia, James O McNamara, and S Mark Williams.
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#3 CaelesMessorem

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 01:11 AM

Accepting this assumption (which I’m not sure is correct), or simply that our bodies in FD would be in a sleeplike state of muscular atonia, then the main health risk would, I think, be similar to that of ordinary computer gaming – muscular and cardiovascular deterioration due to lack of exercise, malnutrition, and more acutely dangerous, dehydration and electrolyte depletion. Though it’s rare, some people have been seriously harmed or even died from excessive computer gaming. A FD system would, I imagine, be inherently able to monitor vital signs, so could have safety feature built into it to prevent users from such self abuse.

   It's difficult to form ideas without either the device or public information regarding any testing should a prototype have miraculously been created already, so I drew the assumption strictly based on what I've read in the original FDVR topic thread (as I've been here a while) as well as any of those following it. It could be equally likely that our bodies may respond as though we are in a trance/ meditative state, under hypnosis or nothing like any of these. However, like the original, they are possibilities begot by the speculative discussions we've held. But I digress :)

 

   I definitely agree with the safety features not allowing self abuse through prolonged diving. In fact I think that there were a few posts on the matter in one of the topics, though I forget which as there are quite a few posts in some of them. Regarding the risks, do you believe they would pertain to scattered short-duration dives (say for example 4 hour dives twice a week), consistent short-duration dives (for this lets say 4 hour dives every other day) or consistent long-duration dives (maybe 6+ hour dives every other day, if not every day)?

 

 

NREM sleep appears to be essential to be the physiologically restful part of sleep in which metabolic accumulated waste is removed from the brain, and its glycogen reserves replenished. So while somewhat sleeplike, FD couldn’t be a replacement for sleep. A consequence of this is that, if you spent much of your day in FDVR, you’d have little actual waking time to drink, eat and exercise.

Assuming a “perfect” FD system – that is, one that could practically perfectly read and write as quickly as needed to any number of individual neurons in the body - many of these problems could be solved. The system could exercise the body in every necessary way, independently of the VR simulation being experienced. Your brain would still need the physiological effects of NREM sleep, but this sleep could be integrated into the VR experience, so that you experienced falling asleep and waking in the VR, rather than the actual, real world.

   That prospect is mind-boggling. It almost sounds like waking and sleeping all while in a perpetual lucid dream. (Inception...Is it weird that made my spine crawl? heheh) Regarding the tending of sleep and exercise, how would the FD device be able to take care of these?

 

 

Speculating about variously “perfect” FD brings to my mind an interesting possibility: that you could learn skills in FD that you could use in the real world. For example, a FDVR program could teach you how to perform world-class gymnastics, Kung Fu, pole vaulting, etc., which, assuming your body was physically capable of it, you could then perform in the real life. A FDVR program could teach you to play a musical instrument, which you could then play in real life. A FDVR program could give you an excellent arts or science education. And so on.

Sources: many, including “Why Do Humans and Many Other Animals Sleep?”, Neuroscience, 2nd edition, Editors: Dale Purves, George J Augustine, David Fitzpatrick, Lawrence C Katz, Anthony-Samuel LaMantia, James O McNamara, and S Mark Williams.

   It's funny you should mention that. It has crossed my mind numerous times whether or not we would be able to utilize lucid dreaming to further or gain skills, depending on if our brain would recognize the acts as a continuation in the process of sorting and understanding memories, experiences, emotions, aspirations, etc.,or if it sees the dream as a new experience altogether. For example, if you were to practice shooting a basketball one day, and had a lucid dream of the same thing that night, would it process the dream as if it were just another dream, or would it see it as a new activity entirely and identify it as more practice? Hopefully this makes sense...


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#4 nullspaceM

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 10:54 PM

It's funny you should mention that. It has crossed my mind numerous times whether or not we would be able to utilize lucid dreaming to further or gain skills, depending on if our brain would recognize the acts as a continuation in the process of sorting and understanding memories, experiences, emotions, aspirations, etc.,or if it sees the dream as a new experience altogether. For example, if you were to practice shooting a basketball one day, and had a lucid dream of the same thing that night, would it process the dream as if it were just another dream, or would it see it as a new activity entirely and identify it as more practice? Hopefully this makes sense...

 

Lucid dreaming about basketball and expecting to be good at it is the same as watching it on TV and expecting the same, possibly even worse. The reason for this is that unlike our waking lives, dreams are not static, nor are they tangible. Ever dream about something that feels normal in the dream, only to wake up and realize how weird it actually was? That's the tangibility problem. You could say though that if you brain could calculate and emulate real life parabolic motion of a basketball, you could improve your shots at basketball because your dream behaves in the same way as the world. In fact this is not the case. Dreams can't even behave the same way as it did from one moment to the next. Next time you find yourself in a lucid dream, try reading any text, looking away, and reading it again. It's likely to be completely different. Same with clocks.. mirrors... electrical devices...


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#5 CraigD

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 02:22 AM

Regarding the risks, do you believe they would pertain to scattered short-duration dives (say for example 4 hour dives twice a week), consistent short-duration dives (for this lets say 4 hour dives every other day) or consistent long-duration dives (maybe 6+ hour dives every other day, if not every day)?

Since people commonly spend 8-10 hrs/day 5+ days/week at work sitting in chairs, I don’t think any of these usages of a FDVR system would pose health risks. Even if you spent 8 hrs/day 7 days/week in VR, you’d have 8 hrs/day ordinary waking time to exercise, bath, eat, etc.

The health risks I outlined would, I guess, become a factor if FDVR became a 15+ hr/day activity taking up all you waking time.
 

That prospect is mind-boggling. It almost sounds like waking and sleeping all while in a perpetual lucid dream. (Inception...Is it weird that made my spine crawl? heheh)

The key idea here is that NREM is physiologically necessary for mental alertness – if you don’t get it several episodes of it about once every 24 hrs, the brain just isn’t nerochemically OK, and will, though a robust feedback system, eventually force itself to get it. REM sleep appears to have an important function, also, related to forming long term memories and maintaining emotional health. So while VR can simulate physically impossible things like superhuman running, jumping, or flying, it can’t simulate never having to sleep. However, as long as the user gets adequate high-quality sleep, they don’t need to leave VR to do it. So instead of a daily cycle of sleep - wake up - do non-VR things - don VR gear - do VR things - doff VR gear - don non-VR things - sleep, you could sleep - wake up – do VR things – sleep.

A get a bit of a creepy feeling from this prospect, because it involves near total withdrawal from ordinary, non-VR living. It reminds me of a subgenre of dystopian scifi novels and movies popular in the 1980s.
 

Regarding the tending of sleep and exercise, how would the FD device be able to take care of these?

In imagining a “perfect FDVR” device, I assume that not only would it be able to prevent your skeletal muscles from activating when you felt like they were in VR, it would also be able to make them move in controlled ways without you being aware of it in VR. This would allow the system to put your body thought a precisely designed isometric workout. So you could have a VR experience of days of slacking, while your body is conditioned as if you were working out 8 hrs/day in a gym!
 

It has crossed my mind numerous times whether or not we would be able to utilize lucid dreaming to further or gain skills, depending on if our brain would recognize the acts as a continuation in the process of sorting and understanding memories, experiences, emotions, aspirations, etc.,or if it sees the dream as a new experience altogether.

I think that things experienced in dream, whether the dream are lucid (that is, the dreamer is aware they are dreaming) or not, don’t provide much real training in the activities remembered as occurring in the dream. My conclusion is based on personal experiences: for example, I’ve dreamed of playing the violin beautifully, but upon waking, found I still played that instrument poorly.

Whether a combination of waking and dreaming experience of an activity enhances learning about that activity is a difficult question of answer in a sound scientific way, because it’s difficult to determine whether especially effective learning about an activity causes dreaming about that activity, or if the dreaming causes the learning to be especially effective. In my personal experience, almost always when I focus intently on some activity, I then dream about it – my dreams are essentially a continuation of my waking experience. I suspect that the dream play a useful role in helping me remember the day’s activities, but are not “additional practice”. Often, the dream are weird and unrealistic, emphasizing in a bizarrely exaggerated way some usually minor detail of the waking experience. While the dreams may (though I know of no scientific support for the hypothesis) be of subtle importance in learning the activity, their role is very different than the waking performance of it.
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#6 xTcHero

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 12:04 PM

But isn't it like that because you believe yourself that what you are playing is great? I mean, if the output from the game would be simulated like it would in real life, you would be able to hone your skills, because you learn how to accumulate X when doing Y. When the experience is simulated, it would make the brain believe that this is what's actually happening - and if the simulation is identical to the real world, I believe you'd be able to generate experience off that.

If, though, the simulated sound does not match the sounds in real life when playing a note, you would believe the outcome would be different in real world, therefore, it would be wrong/bad. The virtual world is sort of like a second reality, if you we're born with a VR-headset on your head, you wouldn't be able to know the difference, because it's your reality. In other words, these sounds would be right in your second reality.

Edited by xTcHero, 23 February 2016 - 01:33 PM.


#7 CraigD

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 03:29 PM

I think that things experienced in dream, whether the dream are lucid (that is, the dreamer is aware they are dreaming) or not, don’t provide much real training in the activities remembered as occurring in the dream. My conclusion is based on personal experiences: for example, I’ve dreamed of playing the violin beautifully, but upon waking, found I still played that instrument poorly.

But isn't it like that because you believe yourself that what you are playing is great?

I don’t think so.

I know what a well-played violin sounds like, having heard and heard recording of many excellent violinists. I’d like to be able to play that well myself, even know in principle what I’m doing wrong, but simply can’t, in waking life, make the instrument make the sounds I want it to. In dreams, when I play, I hear the sound I wish I could make in waking life, feel as if I’ve mastered the instrument. But this is an illusion – I haven’t really improved my technique, and upon waking, playing just the way I remember playing in the dream produces not the wonderful sounds from the dream, but my usual, poor sounds.
 

I mean, if the output from the game would be simulated like it would in real life, you would be able to hone your skills, because you learn how to accumulate X when doing Y. When the experience is simulated, it would make the brain believe that this is what's actually happening - and if the simulation is identical to the real world, I believe you'd be able to generate experience off that.

Yes, I think so.

If a brain-computer interface was “perfect” in the sense I’ve been describing, and the virtual reality simulation program to which it connected me perfectly realistic, then I could in principle practice playing the violin in VR until I was as good as I liked, then play that well in actual reality. However, unlike my nice dream of playing well, when I began practicing in VR, I would sound as bad as in AR.
 

If, though, the simulated sound does not match the sounds in real life when playing a note, you would believe the outcome would be different in real world, therefore, it would be wrong/bad. The virtual world is sort of like a second reality, if you we're born with a VR-headset on your head, you wouldn't be able to know the difference, because it's your reality. In other words, these sounds would be right in your second reality.

You’re describing an imperfect BCI and/or unrealistic simulation.

These are already commonplace, in the form of ordinary screen-and-keyboard/controller video games. In them, I control avatars that can perform physical feats better than even the best AR human athlete, succeed at complex tasks simply by pressing a button at the appropriate on-screen prompt.

Practicing at these games makes me better at playing the game, but little to no, or even worse, at performing similar feats and tasks in AR.

This raises a to me interesting and largely ignored question, one I’ve raised several times in this forum: if a perfect BCI and perfectly accurate simulation is someday made, will anyone want to use them? Would people prefer realistic VR experiences in which they were only as skilled as in AR, or would they prefer unrealistic ones in which they were superhumanly strong, fast, and skilled?

This is a question that doesn’t need to wait for the development of a Nervegear-like BCI to be answered. Present day game and technology companies are working hard on current-generation VR systems using devices like the Oculus Rift, Virtuix Omni, and still-in-development Tesla Suit. Within a few years, thousands of people will have used these systems. Will they prefer them to keyboard and screen systems? Based on early adopter feedback, the answer is uncertain.

#8 xTcHero

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 04:26 PM

I don’t think so.

I know what a well-played violin sounds like, having heard and heard recording of many excellent violinists. I’d like to be able to play that well myself, even know in principle what I’m doing wrong, but simply can’t, in waking life, make the instrument make the sounds I want it to. In dreams, when I play, I hear the sound I wish I could make in waking life, feel as if I’ve mastered the instrument. But this is an illusion – I haven’t really improved my technique, and upon waking, playing just the way I remember playing in the dream produces not the wonderful sounds from the dream, but my usual, poor sounds.
 

But then again - isn't this just because you imagine you're playing well? Generating experience comes from practice; if your play was amazing in your dream, but horrible in real life, doesn't that mean the sounds or notes weren't accurate enough in your dreams to give you experience? You did practice and play - but because you couldn't handle the violin correctly, the information your dream were carrying were too inaccurate.

 

Yes, I think so.

If a brain-computer interface was “perfect” in the sense I’ve been describing, and the virtual reality simulation program to which it connected me perfectly realistic, then I could in principle practice playing the violin in VR until I was as good as I liked, then play that well in actual reality. However, unlike my nice dream of playing well, when I began practicing in VR, I would sound as bad as in AR.

I don't know if I understood this, so I'll refrain answering just this part. :)

 

 

You’re describing an imperfect BCI and/or unrealistic simulation.

These are already commonplace, in the form of ordinary screen-and-keyboard/controller video games. In them, I control avatars that can perform physical feats better than even the best AR human athlete, succeed at complex tasks simply by pressing a button at the appropriate on-screen prompt.

Practicing at these games makes me better at playing the game, but little to no, or even worse, at performing similar feats and tasks in AR.

This raises a to me interesting and largely ignored question, one I’ve raised several times in this forum: if a perfect BCI and perfectly accurate simulation is someday made, will anyone want to use them? Would people prefer realistic VR experiences in which they were only as skilled as in AR, or would they prefer unrealistic ones in which they were superhumanly strong, fast, and skilled?

This is a question that doesn’t need to wait for the development of a Nervegear-like BCI to be answered. Present day game and technology companies are working hard on current-generation VR systems using devices like the Oculus Rift, Virtuix Omni, and still-in-development Tesla Suit. Within a few years, thousands of people will have used these systems. Will they prefer them to keyboard and screen systems? Based on early adopter feedback, the answer is uncertain.

 

 

I believe the answer to your question would be different based on which game is going to use it.

 

A 100% realistic VR would be nice for those who wants real roleplay, but in a different world, with a different lifestyle and governmental structure. Though, for a game like, say, Sword Art Online, I believe you would need a combination. A 100% accurate and realistic VR wouldn't be optimal in this case, as you would want some superpowers, but you still want it to feel realistic, with say, taste, emotions, sounds etc. Which brings me to another topic; is what we call realistic, really realistic? I mean; say we manage to actually create a virtual reality world. This means we could, technically, change the pace of the world, meaning that two years in the game, would be an hour in real life. Would the virtual world still be virtual, or would it become your new reality? Imagine living 16 years in a different world every single day. In one week, that would be 112 years. 

 

For all we know, when we're born, we're actually created in a game world, in a virtual reality, slowed down many, many thousands times. We would never know the difference; because this world is created so that we die before we get to know the actual reality. Imagine having childs, the perfect wife, your dreamhouse, the car you've wished for and living your entire life within the VR world before actually experiencing it in the real world.

 

Anyways, don't mind the last paragraph; it's just something I had on my mind. :P


Edited by xTcHero, 23 February 2016 - 05:23 PM.


#9 Farming guy

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 06:01 PM

Looks like a lot of possible psychological problems mushrooming.  We already have problems with people who can't deal with reality.


Edited by Farming guy, 26 February 2016 - 06:03 PM.




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