“Researchers [at the University of Malta] are using VR as an empathy tool to help neurotypical teachers understand their students with autism.
The researchers created a VR application that would help replicate the experience of an autistic child in their classroom, by the use of audio and visual tricks.
The person from whose perspective the film is shot sometimes doesn’t fully process stimuli, and a sense of distress is conveyed by a blurring of peripheral vision.”
By Rachel Kaser at The Next Web
Image: University of Malta
Read more: https://thenextweb.com/virtual-reality/2018/04/05/researchers-using-vr-help-teachers-understand-autism/
“You could be forgiven for thinking that after adopting nine children over the past 27 years, Sue Clifford has seen it all in terms of training for working with vulnerable young people who have experienced abuse and trauma.
But she had never tried Virtual Reality until a new Restorative Caring pilot by the Cornerstone Project was launched.
The pilot programme, currently in its first wave of partnerships, puts adopters like Sue and foster carers and social workers in the mind of a child as they experience abuse and neglect.
She says she found the experience invaluable when going forward with her children.”
By Luke Stevenson, Community Care
Read more: http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2018/02/08/virtual-reality-can-help-give-social-workers-adopters-carers-new-insight-child-abuse/
“Phobias, those extreme or irrational fears people have of maybe heights, or spiders, can make normal life difficult for many sufferers.
But in Mexico, one student engineer has come up with an innovative way to treat patients’ conditions, using Virtual Reality (VR) technology to gradually expose them to their fears.
The VR technology reflects the reality that a patient is afraid of.
Fear of the dark is treated by gradually fading light within the headset, while patients with a fear of heights experience the simulation of gradually ascending from a virtual ground level.”
By Alasdair Baverstock, CGTN America
Read more: https://america.cgtn.com/2018/01/25/virtual-reality-therapy-provides-medical-treatment-alternative
“Horsham District Council is the first council in the UK to introduce a new form of virtual reality therapy for those with long term medical conditions. The council’s Community Link team is championing a virtual reality experience for the benefit of people with dementia and those living with long term medical conditions.
The therapy is based on the use of a headset which creates a virtual reality environment for users, helping them become immersed within a variety of different scenes.
Chosen scenes include experiences such as starlit skies, forests full of animals, dolphins swimming and nostalgic “days out” to beaches with the sound of the sea lapping on the shore.”
By Spirit FM
Read more: https://www.spiritfm.net/news/sussex-news/2447092/watch-how-virtual-reality-therapy-is-treating-pain-in-west-sussex/
“For kids with sensory challenges like autism, everyday experiences like popping down to the supermarket, crossing the road or swimming in the sea can be absolutely terrifying.
But one Christchurch school has introduced something to try and bridge this gap.
With help from electronics giant Samsung, Allenvale School got hold of some virtual reality goggles.
And they’re proving a much needed portal for 10-year-old Kingston Friggin to enjoy school, where he once hated it.”
By Seven Sharp at TV New Zealand
Read more: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/virtual-reality-technology-helping-kids-sensory-challenges-like-autism-v1
“Virtual reality reduces phantom body pain in paraplegics and creates the illusion that they can feel their paralyzed legs being touched again.
The results could one day translate into therapies to reduce chronic pain in paraplegics.
In breakthrough research led by neuroscientist Olaf Blanke and his team at EPFL, Switzerland, the scientists show that phantom body pain can be reduced in paraplegics by creating a bodily illusion with the help of virtual reality. The results are published in Neurology.”
Image, text and video provided by Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)
Read more: https://actu.epfl.ch/news/virtual-reality-reduces-phantom-pain-in-paraplegic/
“UCLA researchers are the first to blend virtual reality with a surgically implanted prosthesis to reveal what happens in the brain when people create memories.
At UCLA, Nanthia Suthana is one of the first neuroscientists in the world to harness the power of VR to unravel how someone’s brain encodes and retrieves memories while the person explores a new virtual setting on foot.
“Without our memories, each of us would be lost in time and cut off from other people,” said Suthana, an assistant professor of neurosurgery and psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “At UCLA, we are the first to blend virtual reality with a surgically implanted prosthesis to reveal what happens inside the brain when we create memories.”
Thanks to her curiosity about how memories define us, Suthana’s advances in virtual reality have opened the door into an entirely new realm of brain research.”
By Elaine Schmidt at UCLA Newsroom
Read more: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/stories/neuroscientist-harnesses-the-power-of-virtual-reality-to-unlock-the-mysteries-of-memory
“This Brazilian Project Aims to Show Technology’s Benefits to Health and Welfare.
The project, a collaboration between Intel and online portal Razões para Acreditar (Reasons to Believe), gave VR glasses to the nursing home residents to take them to places either from their past or that they had always wanted to visit.
One woman emigrated from Spain when young, but has never been back. Of course, their experiences make for emotional viewing”.
By Alexandra Jardine for Creativity Online.
Read more: http://creativity-online.com/work/intel-dreams-realized-through-vr/52475
“Clinical psychologist Corrie Ackland, who specialises in phobias, is developing a new and potentially highly effective treatment. Her team is turning to virtual reality to conquer phobias.
Through a VR headset, phobia sufferers can be gradually exposed to environments that give them anxiety, from needle injections to dentists, snakes and spiders.”
By Yahoo Australian News Sunday Night
Read more: https://au.news.yahoo.com/sunday-night/features/a/36237239/new-virtual-reality-therapy-helping-victims-of-phobias-conquer-their-fears/#page1
“Start VR has teamed up with Samsung Australia to introduce virtual reality as a form of “distraction therapy” to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse Cancer Hospital.
Patients were provided with Samsung Gear VR headsets and the option to select an experience, ranging from a relaxing travel destination, plunging off an airplane in a skydiving stimulating experience, taking a boat ride through the Sydney Harbour, snorkeling through sparkling blue waters and petting Koalas at a zoo.
The initiative was spearheaded by Start VR’s Head of Content Martin Taylor, who collaborated with Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and Samsung Australia to bring the partnership to life.”
Image: Start VR
By Rae Johnston at Gizmodo