How Does VR Trick Your Brain? – The Science of Virtual Reality

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Have you ever wondered how virtual reality technology can create such immersive experiences that feel so real? Virtual reality has the power to trick our brains into believing that we are actually in a virtual environment, through the use of various sensory inputs.

If you want to understand how virtual reality tricks your brain and learn about the science behind it, keep reading.

Discover how virtual reality technology creates such a realistic experience and how it can impact our brain and perception of reality.

How Does VR Trick Your Brain?

Virtual reality tricks your brain by creating a simulated environment that your brain perceives as real. It does this by stimulating your senses in a way that makes you feel as if you are actually in the environment. Here are some ways VR tricks your brain:

  1. Visual perception: The VR headset displays a 360-degree view of the virtual environment, which creates the illusion of being inside it. This works by displaying two different images to each eye, which creates the illusion of depth.
  2. Auditory perception: VR headphones create a 3D audio experience, which makes it possible to hear sounds from different directions. This helps to create the illusion of being in a real environment.
  3. Vestibular system: Your vestibular system is responsible for your sense of balance and spatial orientation. In VR, the environment can be manipulated to create the sensation of movement or motion, which can trick your vestibular system into thinking you are actually moving.
  4. Haptic feedback: Some VR experiences include haptic feedback, which simulates touch and other sensations. This can include vibrations or other tactile sensations that create the illusion of physical contact with objects in the virtual environment.

VR Environment

Virtual reality (VR) is a technology that allows users to enter a simulated environment and interact with it. In a VR environment, users wear a headset that tracks their movements and displays a 3D image in front of their eyes. The immersive nature of VR has made it a popular tool for gaming, training, and therapy.

What is a VR Environment?

A VR environment is a computer-generated space that users can enter and interact with using a VR headset. The environment can be a replication of a real-world location or a completely imaginary one.

What can you do in VR Environment?

In a VR environment, users can move around, interact with objects, and even manipulate the environment around them. The goal of a VR environment is to create a sense of presence or the feeling of actually being in the virtual space.

Solve common VR issues and troubleshoot problems with our helpful FAQs and how-to guides.

How Does a VR Environment Work?

A VR environment works by tricking the user’s brain into thinking that they are in a different place. This is done through a combination of hardware and software. Here’s how it works:

The Hardware

A VR headset consists of two small screens, one for each eye, that display a 3D image. The headset also contains sensors that track the user’s movements, allowing them to move around in the virtual space.

The Software

The software used to create a VR environment is called a game engine. Game engines are powerful tools that allow developers to create interactive experiences. In a VR environment, the game engine tracks the user’s movements and adjusts the virtual space accordingly.


If the user moves their head to the left, the game engine will adjust the 3D image to simulate the user turning their head in that direction.

The Controllers

VR environments often come with handheld controllers that allow the user to interact with the virtual space. These controllers can be used to pick up and move objects, fire weapons, or perform other actions.

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how does virtual reality trick your brain

Applications of VR Environments

VR environments have a wide range of applications, from entertainment to education to therapy. Here are some examples:

  1. Gaming: VR gaming has become increasingly popular in recent years. Games like Beat Saber, Superhot VR, and Half-Life: Alyx allow players to fully immerse themselves in a virtual world and interact with it using their body.
  2. Education: VR environments have the potential to revolutionize education. Students can use VR to explore historical locations, practice surgical procedures, or learn about complex scientific concepts in a hands-on way.
  3. Therapy: VR environments are also being used to treat a variety of mental health conditions, including anxiety, phobias, and PTSD. In a VR therapy session, a patient can be exposed to situations that trigger their symptoms in a safe and controlled environment, allowing them to gradually desensitize themselves.
  4. Architecture and Design: VR environments are being used by architects and designers to create and visualize their projects. By creating a VR model of a building or product, designers can get a better sense of how it will look and feel in real life.
  5. Virtual Travel: With the COVID-19 pandemic limiting travel, VR environments are being used to provide virtual travel experiences. Users can explore cities, landmarks, and natural wonders from around the world without leaving their homes.

Challenges and Limitations of VR Environments

While VR environments have many potential applications, there are also some challenges and limitations that need to be addressed. Here are a few examples:

  1. Cost: VR technology can be expensive, with high-end headsets costing hundreds of dollars. This can make it difficult for some individuals and organizations to access the technology.
  2. Motion Sickness: Some users experience motion sickness or nausea when using VR headsets, particularly when there is a disconnect between the visual and physical movements. This can limit the amount of time that users can spend in a VR environment.
  3. Safety: VR environments can create a sense of presence that can be dangerous in certain situations. For example, users may forget that they are in a virtual environment and accidentally bump into objects or people in the real world.
  4. Technical Limitations: While VR technology has advanced significantly in recent years, there are still technical limitations that can limit the realism of a VR environment. For example, the resolution of the screens in VR headsets is not as high as that of a computer monitor, which can limit the level of detail in the virtual space.

Discover the top virtual reality apps and experiences for various platforms and devices.


Virtual reality is a technology that has the ability to transport us to different worlds and experiences, but how does it work? By stimulating our senses in a way that creates the illusion of being in a different place, virtual reality tricks our brains into believing that we are in a completely different environment.

With continued advancements in technology, it is likely that virtual reality will become even more immersive in the years to come.


  • Victor Marquez

    Victor is the Editor in Chief at Techtyche. He tests the performance and quality of new VR boxes, headsets, pedals, etc. He got promoted to the Senior Game Tester position in 2021. His past experience makes him very qualified to review gadgets, speakers, VR, games, Xbox, laptops, and more. Feel free to check out his posts.

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