Wijnand IJsselsteijn selected as Distinguished NIAS-Lorentz Fellow 2024/25

March 20, 2023

IJsselsteijn has been awarded the Distinguished NIAS-Lorentz Fellowship 2024/25 for his research on progressively lifelike virtual embodiments in the metaverse.

During his fellowship, from September 2024 onwards, neuropsychologist and AI expert Wijnand IJsselsteijn will unpack and analyze the psychological effects and ethical values at stake in relation to the introduction of virtual and augmented reality – together referred to as eXtended Reality, or XR – at a large scale and with unprecedented quality.

Aim fellowship: understanding the psychological and ethical ramifications of the metaverse 

With XR’s increased perceptual and interactional realism, avatars and simulated environments are likely to become indistinguishable from the real world. There is ample scientific evidence to suggest that these experiences are likely to carry over outside the realm of the virtual and into the real world of attitudes, preferences, and behaviors. The stakes are high and the metaverse has the potential to become the ultimate marketing and persuasion machine. IJsselsteijn wants to understand both the psychological and ethical ramifications of the metaverse that will have important design and policy implications. His focus will be on the nature of reality perception, and the persuasive potential of XR. The fellowship will allow him the valuable next step: bringing together and bridging the required interdisciplinary perspectives from the behavioral sciences, ethics of technology, and human-centered AI and XR interaction design.


‘The real power of XR is unleashed when it converges with AI. In these virtual environments people’s experiences are real.’

  Wijnand IJsselsteijn


About the Distinguished NIAS-Lorentz Fellowship 

The Distinguished NIAS-Lorentz Fellowship (DNLF) is set up by the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW) and the Lorentz Center to promote cutting edge interdisciplinary research. The Fellowship is awarded to a leading scientist working on research that, in essential ways, combines perspectives from the Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Technological Sciences.