Preprint Concept Paper Version 2 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Virtual Reality in Biology: Can We Become Virtual Naturalists?

Version 1 : Received: 27 October 2019 / Approved: 27 October 2019 / Online: 27 October 2019 (15:49:29 CET)
Version 2 : Received: 12 May 2020 / Approved: 14 May 2020 / Online: 14 May 2020 (08:52:09 CEST)
Version 3 : Received: 18 January 2021 / Approved: 19 January 2021 / Online: 19 January 2021 (10:54:11 CET)

How to cite: Morimoto, J.; Ponton, F. Virtual Reality in Biology: Can We Become Virtual Naturalists?. Preprints 2019, 2019100311. Morimoto, J.; Ponton, F. Virtual Reality in Biology: Can We Become Virtual Naturalists?. Preprints 2019, 2019100311.


Technological advances made Virtual and Mixed Reality (VMR) accessible at our fingertips. However, only recently VMR has been explored for the teaching of biology. Here, we highlight how VMR applications can be useful in biology education, discuss about caveats related to VMR use that can interfere with learning, and look into the future of VMR applications in the field. We then propose that the combination of VMR with Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence can provide unprecedented ways to visualise how species evolve in self-sustained immersive virtual worlds, thereby transforming VMR from an educational tool to the centre of biological interest.


virtual reality; biological evolution; immersive reality


Biology and Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 14 May 2020
Commenter: Juliano Morimoto
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: Following reviwers' comments, we created a new panel in figure A. We also reviewed the similarieis and differences of current computational methods in relation to our concept (starting in the new section Bio-inspired systems and the rise of artificial evolution). Everything else is the same with minor changes on the English grammar throughout the text.
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