Mel Slater

Universitat de Barcelona (UB)

Engineering Sciences

Mel Slater joined ICREA in January 2006 and is at the University of Barcelona. He became Professor of Virtual Environments at University College London in 1997. He was a UK EPSRC Senior Research Fellow from 1999 to 2004, and was founder of the Virtual Environments and Computer Graphics group at UCL. Thirty six of his PhD students have obtained their PhDs since 1989. In 2005 he was awarded the Virtual Reality Career Award by IEEE Virtual Reality `In Recognition of Seminal Achievements in Engineering Virtual Reality.' He is Co-Director of the Event Lab ( at UB. He was Coordinator of the EU 7th Framework Integrated Project VERE (, and was scientific leader of the Integrated Project BEAMING ( He held a European Research Council grant TRAVERSE (, and has been awarded two ERC Proofs of Concept.

Research interests

Mel Slater’s main goal is to radically extend the boundaries of virtual reality. His research aims to provide a framework for the scientific understanding of how people act and respond in immersive virtual reality. He works on applications that involve simulations of social situations that are difficult or impossible to realise in physical reality, even to the extent of transforming the very body of the participant. This research also contributes to the neuroscience of body representation. His research is concerned with presence, that is, understanding the conditions under which people tend to respond realistically to virtual situations and events. The Event Lab at UB carries out research on both the technical side of real-time computer graphics and virtual reality systems, as well as on the scientific side. The application areas of interest include various forms of rehabilitation, including psychological therapy.

Selected publications

– Fornells-Ambrojo M, Elenbaas M, Barker C, Swapp D, Navarro X, Rovira A, Sanahuja JMT  & Slater M 2016, ‘Hypersensitivity to Contingent Behavior in Paranoia: A New Virtual Reality Paradigm’, The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. 204:148-152.

– Kilteni K,  Grau-Sánchez J, Veciana De Las Heras M, Rodriguez-Fornells ASlater M 2016, ‘Decreased corticospinal excitability after the illusion of missing part of the arm’, Front. Hum. Neurosci. 10, 145.

– Padrao G, Gonzalez-Franco M, Sanchez-Vives MV, Slater M & Rodriguez-Fornells A 2016, ‘Violating body movement semantics: Neural signatures of self-generated and external-generated errors’, Neuroimage, 124, A, 147 – 156.

– Kokkinara E, Kilteni K, Blom KJ & Slater M 2016, ‘First Person Perspective of Seated Participants Over a Walking Virtual Body Leads to Illusory Agency Over the Walking’, Scientific Reports, 6, 28879.

– Maselli A, Kilteni K, López-Moliner J & Slater M 2016, ‘The sense of body ownership relaxes temporal constraints for multisensory integration’, Sci Rep 6, 30628. doi:10.1038/srep30628.

– Banakou D, H PD & Slater M 2016, ‘Virtual Embodiment of White People in a Black Virtual Body Leads to a Sustained Reduction in their Implicit Racial Bias’, Front. Hum. Neurosci. 10:601. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00601.

Slater M & Sanchez-Vives MV 2016, ‘Enhancing Our Lives with Immersive Virtual Reality’, Front. Robot. AI 3:74. doi: 10.3389/frobt.2016.00074

– Bergström I, Kilteni K & Slater M 2016, ‘First-Person Perspective Virtual Body Posture Influences Stress: A Virtual Reality Body Ownership Study’, PLoS ONE 11(2): e0148060. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0148060.

Selected research activities

– The Event Lab exibited at the CCCB  Humans+ October 2015 – April 2016.

– Mel Slater organised a symposium at the 10th FENS Forum of Neuroscience, July  2016, Copenhagen, Denmark: “The Neuroscience of Body Consciousness”.

– Mel Slater is Field Editor of Frontiers in Robotics and AI.