Introducing Caitlin Naylor
CAMERA are thrilled to be welcoming 4 new PhD researchers to our team this autumn. Caitlin Naylor is joining us to work with Co-Investigator Christof Lutteroth, and CAMERA Co-Director Eamonn O’Neill in the Department of Computer Science and Dr Janet Bultitude from the Department of Psychology.
We asked Caitlin to tell us a little about herself and her PhD.
“I am a new postgraduate research student working towards my PhD investigating body representation disturbances in complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) using virtual reality. I am being supervised by Dr Christof Lutteroth and Prof Eamonn O’Neill from Computer Science, and Dr Janet Bultitude from the Psychology department. I completed my BSc (Hons) in Psychology at Bath last year and was awarded the British Science Association EPS undergraduate prize for my dissertation work using VR to investigate multisensory integration and top-down processing in perceptual illusions. Outside of my studies, I am the Vice Chair for the Musical Theatre Society at Bath and I am looking forward to being on stage again after a year of online performances! I also love cooking and baking and hope there will be opportunities this year to meet some new people over a slice of cake!”
Virtual Reality (VR) provides a unique opportunity to manipulate people’s sensory experiences to create perceptual illusions. This project aims to create interactive VR simulations that allow users to experience body perception illusions whilst trying to perform simple actions such as lifting a mug. The visual appearance of the limb will be manipulated so that visual body cues and felt body cues are in conflict. These body illusions will help to understand how consistency between sensory body cues and the cognitive representation of the body impacts action. We hope to use this information to create an interactive VR rehabilitation tool for individuals with body perception disturbances, which will allow individuals to experience a visual representation of their limb which helps correct their current misperception. It is hoped that this will facilitate a coherent cognitive representation of their body, and as such help improve their ability to perform simple actions in VR. Furthermore, practicing these skills in VR with an improved body perception may increase the participants’ ability to perform these skills in the real world.