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Technological Competence is a Precondition for Effective Implementation of Virtual Reality Head Mounted Displays in Human Neuroscience: A Technological Review and Meta-Analysis
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  • Panagiotis Kourtesis ,
  • Simona Collina ,
  • Leonidas A. A. Doumas ,
  • Sarah E. MacPherson
Panagiotis Kourtesis
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Simona Collina
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Leonidas A. A. Doumas
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Sarah E. MacPherson
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Immersive virtual reality (VR) emerges as a promising research and clinical tool. However, several studies suggest that VR induced adverse symptoms and effects (VRISE) may undermine the health and safety standards, and the reliability of the scientific results. In the current literature review, the technical reasons for the adverse symptomatology are investigated to provide suggestions and technological knowledge for the implementation of VR head-mounted display (HMD) systems in cognitive neuroscience. The technological systematic literature indicated features pertinent to display, sound, motion tracking, navigation, ergonomic interactions, user experience, and computer hardware that should be considered by the researchers. Subsequently, a meta-analysis of 44 neuroscientific or neuropsychological studies involving VR HMD systems was performed. The meta-analysis of the VR studies demonstrated that new generation HMDs induced significantly less VRISE and marginally fewer dropouts.Importantly, the commercial versions of the new generation HMDs with ergonomic interactions had zero incidents of adverse symptomatology and dropouts. HMDs equivalent to or greater than the commercial versions of contemporary HMDs accompanied with ergonomic interactions are suitable for implementation in cognitive neuroscience. In conclusion, researchers technological competency, along with meticulous methods and reports pertinent to software, hardware, and VRISE, are paramount to ensure the health and safety standards and the reliability of neuroscientific results.