Cognitive Illusions in Virtual Reality: What do I mean? And why should you care?



What makes virtual reality seem real? Many of us have heard the term “presence” used to describe the feeling produced by virtual environments, but what does it really mean?

This talk will explore some of the illusions that contribute to effective virtual experiences, including Place Illusion and Plausibility Illusion, with a review of some experimental results that give insight into how these illusions are created and an argument that we as VR creators might be better off with less engineering and more imagineering.


Richard Skarbez is a Lecturer in Interactive Visualization in the Department of Computer Science and Information Technology at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. In 2016, he completed his dissertation, "Plausibility Illusion in Virtual Environments" at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under the supervision of Professors Fred Brooks and Mary Whitton. His research interests broadly refer to how humans experience and interact with immersive technologies, and specifically include virtual reality, human factors, user experience design, visualisation, and immersive analytics.

  Date and Time




  • Date: 04 Mar 2019
  • Time: 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
  • All times are (UTC+10:00) Sydney
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  • SMART Building
  • University of Wollongong, New South Wales
  • Australia 2522
  • Building: 6
  • Room Number: 209