Lomonosov Moscow State University
The paper introduces virtual reality systems as a new methodolology of carrying out both traditional and originally designed experimental studies in psychology and in a broader context - in neuroscience. This methodology, often differing from classical approaches toward planning and performing a study in cognitive, social, educational, organizational and numerous other disciplines within psychology, is placed in the context of genuine Russian and at the same time of world-wide psychological theories, conceptions and traditions. Advantages, currently available results, challenges and perspectives of the virtual paradigm in experimental psychology, psychotherapy and psychological rehabilitation are thoroughly described and analyzed. The ideas of immersive virtuality are also shown to play a profound role at diverse levels of innovative learning and teaching, including special, extracurricular, and college education. Besides, applied virtual reality systems are presented as being of serious importance for the university students' training: it is expected that new generations of professional psychologists will use these systems extensively. The multifaceted theoretical activities and applied work of the staff and students affiliated with the Psychology Department, Lomonosov Moscow State University, aimed at development and usage of immersive virtual reality systems are fully presented in the paper.
Keywords: experimental psychology, neuroscience, psychotherapy, psychological rehabilitation, methodology, virtual reality, immersion, modality, innovative education, motor activity, psychophysics, cognitive psychology