A daredevil researcher’s latest quest: to restore sight lost to glaucoma using virtual reality

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By Rebecca Robbins

Academics and companies all over the world are betting on virtual reality to help patients with conditions like anxiety, depression, PTSD, and ADHD. Huberman believes in the potential of the technology for vision issues, too, but he speaks about it less like an evangelist than someone who’s discovered a useful tool. He’s also harnessing it in pioneering ways.

In the case of the shark footage, Huberman teamed up with an A-list photographer named Michael Muller, who has a passion for photographing sharks in the wild. Their team has twice boarded a research vessel for a 22-hour voyage out into the Pacific Ocean to spend a few days out on the crystal-clear water off the coast of Guadalupe Island.

Visiting tourists or researchers often go underwater in protective metal cages to observe the hundreds of great white sharks that congregate in the area. But Huberman said he managed to get permits from the Mexican government so that he and his team could exit the cage and swim with the sharks for his research project.

The experience was “incredibly calming,” said Huberman, who underwent training on how to stay safe.

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