Special session 13:

eXtended Reality beyond the five senses 

Real-world exploration requires movement of the body in space, producing a continuous stream of both exteroceptive (sensory) and inner (interoceptive, proprioceptive, and vestibular) stimuli.  According to the predictive coding theory, the human brain, while receiving stimuli, systematically generates and updates a mental model of the environment, on the basis on how well these models can predict imminent stimuli. Experiences in Extended Reality (XR) share the same basic mechanism: they are based on a model of the body and the environment, and the prediction of the perceptive consequences of these interactions. Although the XR community has highlighted sensorimotor contingency as the prominent factor for presence, neuroscience research shows that factors such as multiperceptual integration of bodily signals, action and embodiment are also critical to generate XR experiences. Understanding how to build enhanced embodied XR experiences is relevant also to develop future XR-based applications for clinical purposes. Different disorders – including PTSD, eating disorders, depression, chronic pain, phantom limb pain, autism, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease– are related to a dysfunctional experience of the bodily self. Moreover, increasing bodily self-consciousness is the basis for mental training protocols widely used for athlete preparation and business management training.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to the following applications of XR technologies:

  • Sense of presence enhancement
  • Embodied simulations
  • Inner body in XR
  • XR for clinical populations
  • XR-based bio-neurofeedback trainings
  • XR for mental training in sports and business
  • XR for psychological wellbeing
  • Human Computer Symbiosis

Organized by:

Silvia Serino

Università Cattolica di Milano, Italy

Silvia Serino is a researcher (RTD-A) at the Department of Psychology of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Milan). She received the PhD Degree in Psychology from the same University in 2015. Her main research interest is the study of the interactions between body and space, important for action and memory. To this aim, she employed different techniques from cognitive psychology, including psychophysics experiments, virtual reality simulations, physiological recording in both healthy participants and individuals presenting deficits in spatial and body representations, as a model for investigating how body and space representations interact.


contact: silvia.serino@unicatt.it

Nicola Moccaldi

University of Naples Federico II, Italy

Nicola Moccaldi received the M.S. degree in Communication Science at the University of Salerno, the M.Sc. degree in Electronic Engineering and the Ph.D. in Information Technologies and Electrical Engineering at the University of Naples Federico II. His current research interests include biomedical instrumentation and measurement.


contact: nicola.moccaldi@unina.it

Giovanni D’Errico

Politecnco di Torino, Italy 

Giovanni D’Errico received the M.S. degree in Computer Science Engineering in University of Salento. He is currently a PhD student at the Polytechnic University of Turin (doctoral school in Metrology). His current research interests are oriented to the study of Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI) in biosignal-based immersive virtual environment for supporting Mindfulness protocols and detecting emotional states.


contact: giovanni.derrico@polito.it

Antonio Esposito

Politecnico di Torino, Italy

Antonio Esposito received his MSc in Electronic Engineering at the University of Naples Federico II in 2017 and his PhD in Metrology at Politecnico di Torino in 2022. His main research activities focus on the measurement of electroencephalographic signals in the development of wearable computer-brain interfaces.


contact: antonio.esposito@polito.it