Bjorn Beijnon | Schizophrenia and the Construction of Reality: Experiencing Subjectivities through Virtual Reality

Bjorn Beijnon | Schizophrenia and the Construction of Reality: Experiencing Subjectivities through Virtual Reality | University of Amsterdam | Promotor: prof. dr. Patricia Pisters, Supervisor: dr. Julian Kiverstein | September 2019 – august 2023 | b.beijnon[at]uva.nl

This research examines the exploration of virtual realities in the Virtual Reality Head-Mounted-Display (VR-HMD) as a way of studying the cognitive process of people with schizophrenia (PSZ). By taking a medical humanities approach, this research will, on the one hand, investigate the construction of reality and experience of subjectivity for PSZ in a virtual environment. On the other hand, this research shall examine how these experiences of such a reality and subjectivity by PSZ invite us to reassess the conception of the pathological in contemporary Western societies. By examining how the concept of the pathological is structured in Western urban screen cultures, this research will also investigate how the construction and experience of reality of PSZ can help to understand and re-evaluate what is considered as the normal nowadays. Eventually an answer shall be found for the following research question: How do people with schizophrenia construct and experience different subjectivities within contemporary Western urban screen cultures?