DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT
MIRAGE was designed by Harman Brar, an artist and researcher interested in using technology to simulate altered states of consciousness, in an attempt to understand the mind. Her interest in cognitive science stems from an academic background in psychology and human biology, and experience as a research assistant in a psychiatric facility.
MIRAGE was developed using Unity3D gaming engine. The concept art and user experience design were based on numerous user accounts of personal psychedelic experiences, as well as research addressing neuropharmacological phenomena associated with psychedelics.
Workflow in Unity3D
MIRAGE was developed in order to answer the research question: Can we simulate a psychedelic experience in VR and mirror the positive neurocognitive effects of psychedelic drugs?
Theoretically, an indication of this potential would be evident through the activation of the frontal lobes due to the fact that 5-HT receptors and serotonin terminals are densely located in this region, and are largely responsible for the “feel good” effects of psychedelics. MIRAGE was thus developed to address the current gaps in the literature regarding specific neural areas of activation that can be targeted in a simulated psychedelic experience to achieve the positive effects of psychedelic drugs using VR technology.
MIRAGE is an attempt to understand consciousness and the extent to which simulated environments can impact our brains and minds. This experience was developed to support a major research project thesis titled: Simulated States of Consciousness: Inducing Psychedelic States in Virtual Reality.
See more research here
Design: Harman Brar
Concept Art: Harman Brar
Unity Assets: Desert Terrain by Black Sun Studios
Trailer Instrumentals: Anoushka Shankar