Bruno Herbelin

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Scientist +41 21 693 04 67

Citizenship : French

Birth date : 22.06.1974

H4 2 134.094 (Campus Biotech batiment H4)
Ch. des Mines 9
CH-1202 Genève

Administrative data

Fields of expertise

Virtual Reality for cognitive neurosciences 
(computer graphics, programming, electronics, interaction design, experimental psychology, EEG)

Infoscience publications


Reality Substitution Machine

Virtual reality technologies are over 50 years old, yet still considered new and innovative today as they reach a larger public with widespread devices such as the oculus. Beyond the dreams of telepresence and cyberspace, scientific studies of the cognitive mechanisms of the sense of presence and of embodiment are required to fully comprehend how to master the art of virtual reality. To that end, the reality substitution machine (RealiSM) is an original and practical approach for the immersion in mixed-reality environments based on recent findings in cognitive neuroscience of bodily self-consciousness.


ExpyVR allows users to easily design an experiment timeline with loops and randomization using a graphical user interface. Modules for 2D and 3D display, audio, or user input are integrated into the timeline with few clics. Once an experiment is described and saved, a set of execution instances can be generated with randomization for testing with subjects (e.g. factorial design).

Research topics

In the recent years, my research focused on the study of the neural mechanisms of bodily self-consciousness and of the experience of embodiment and presence in virtual reality (VR). My research is at the crossroad of fundamental cognitive neuroscience and engineering, where the development of state of the art VR technologies brings unpreceded opportunities for experimental cognitive neuroscience research, and where the understanding of cognitive mechanisms of perception and consciousness stimulates innovation for the engineering of new VR immersion and interaction paradigms.