Monthly Archives: April 2014

Virtual reality headset allows terminally ill grandmother with cancer to experience the outdoors (video)


“Roberta Firstenberg, who is suffering from terminal cancer, uses an Oculus Rift VR headset to experience a virtual world where she can walk outside a Tuscan villa and catch butterflies.

The virtual reality headset gives Roberta Firstenberg the ability to feel as if she is outside, without actually leaving her home.”

By Jonathan Block at Daily Mail Online

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Read the full story at the Rift Arcade:

Virtual Reality Simulates Social Interactions in Autism Research

“The scientific team at the Center for BrainHealth is partnering with researchers at Yale’s Child Study Center to test the feasibility of providing the research-based training program to young adults across the country. A person with autism can use the technology to “practice” and hone their skills initiating a conversation with a person they would like to meet, interviewing for a job, or standing up for themselves by confronting a friend or colleague. Practicing social interaction in a safe, non-threatening, gaming environment helps people reduce anxiety and gain the confidence and skills they need to attempt more social interactions in their daily lives.”

By Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman from the Center for BrainHealth writing in the Huffington Post.

Read more at the Huffington Post:

Virtual Reality Forest Project Creates Novel Environment for Dementia Patients, Caretakers


“A new project in Australia is bringing together video game technology with gesture recognition and some other components to create a virtual reality interactive environment for dementia patients and their caretakers. The project is still in the development stage, and is looking for crowdsourced funds, but the video below shows off the current prototype that will eventually include a 10 m x 10 m projection screen, a touch display, and special lighting.”

(From BioHealth Innovation)

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Virtual reality used to tackle real-world fears, phobias (CBC News) with Dr. Stephane Bouchard


“Ottawa host Lucy van Oldenbarneveld tackled her fear of flying this week by visiting a cyberpsychology lab in Gatineau, one where virtual reality machines are used to help simulate our phobias.

Watch the video to see Lucy’s interview with Dr. Stephane Bouchard, the Canada Research Chair in Clinical Cyberpsychology, on how effective virtual reality settings are to psychologists and patients:”

More info: Dr. Stephane Bouchard, University of Quebec Cyberpsychology Lab –

Soldiers being cured of PTSD with new virtual reality treatment (CTV News) with Dr “Skip” Rizzo, USC Institute for Creative Technologies


“At the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California, they are helping treat soldiers with virtual reality simulations.

You strap it to your head and that puts you inside a first-person shooter video game,” says Mitic to Kevin Newman Live. He is the same soldier who made it to the finals of The Amazing Race Canada. He is a double amputee after stepping on a landmine, but doesn’t have PTSD. He flew to Los Angeles with Vice Canada to do a documentary with Vice’s tech site Motherboard on new PTSD treatments. “Once you are inside there are sounds and scents. It goes back to immersion therapy or stress inoculation; you are immerged in what caused your trauma. A therapist is there to talk you through it.”

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More info: Dr Rizzo – Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California

Using virtual reality to conquer fears of sexual assault (Dr. Stephane Bouchard)


Their lab at the University of Quebec in the Outaouais has re-created realistic scenarios to help these victims face their fears in a virtual world”.

Read more:

More info: Dr. Stephane Bouchard, University of Quebec Cyberpsychology Lab –