Category Archives: Presence

Neuroscientist harnesses the power of virtual reality to unlock the mysteries of memory (incl. video)

“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

Seniors Realize Their Travel Dreams in This Intel Virtual Reality Project (video)

“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

Virtual reality therapy helping victims of phobias conquer their fears (incl. video)

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

Using Virtual Reality As Distraction Therapy For Cancer Patients (incl. video)

“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

Read more:

https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/03/using-virtual-reality-as-distraction-therapy-for-cancer-patients/

Virtual reality ‘could help treat vertigo’ (incl. video)

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“Virtual reality could be used to diagnose and treat visual vertigo, according to a team of Cardiff University psychologists.

People with the condition suffer from dizziness and nausea and often cite places with repetitive visual patterns, such as supermarkets, as the trigger.

A team of psychologists is working to develop virtual environments to help with diagnosis and rehabilitation.”

By Max Evans at BBC News

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-38715719

Easing phantom pain with augmented reality (incl. video)

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“It’s not just for immersive gaming that VR has its uses, it is also providing new ways to treat psychological conditions such as PTSD or vertigo.

Now, a new study suggests that phantom limb pain can be eased using augmented reality.

In the augmented reality environment, the patients can see themselves on a screen with a superimposed virtual arm, which is controlled by muscle signals from their arm stump.

The therapy uses augmented reality to visualise the phantom limb, in a similar way to mirror therapy.”

By Rozie Benyon at Science Focus

Read more: http://www.sciencefocus.com/article/human-body/easing-phantom-pain-augmented-reality

Virtual Reality Helps Teens with Social Anxiety (video)

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“Virtual reality is proving to be a viable solution to easing the social anxiety teens with ADHD and Asperger’s syndrome encounter daily.

These teens go through tremendous difficulty developing the social skills to interact with peers and adults in what most consider normal social situations.

The Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas has been successfully improving these teens social anxiety via VR sessions, helping them to make friends and communicate openly.”

Blog by Raphael Konforti at VR Fitness Insider

News report by NBC News Today

Read more: http://www.vrfitnessinsider.com/vr-helps-teens-social-anxiety/

This physician is using virtual reality to treat patients with dementia (incl. video)

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“For most people, virtual reality’s promise of transporting us to a different world in a heartbeat is a great novelty. But for those who cannot travel freely, it’s a lifeline.

Sonya Kim, a physician in the San Francisco Bay area, has been taking virtual-reality headsets to seniors as a part of their medical treatment. Her therapy program, Aloha VR, lets seniors use the headsets to bring variety into their days, relax and provide a chance to get away to a virtual tropical locale.

High-tech and seniors may not go together in many people’s minds. But virtual reality is actually just the latest in technologies helping them.”

By Hayley Tsukayama at The Washington Post

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/11/17/this-physician-is-using-virtual-reality-to-treat-patients-with-dementia/

Virtual Reality Helps Veterans with PTSD (incl. video)

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“Veterans and active duty military members are using virtual reality to relive the worst moments of their life in an innovative counseling program being offered for free at the University of Central Florida’s PTSD Clinic.

“It’s a very intense program but the advantage is that we can really take care of this disorder and treat this disorder thoroughly and effectively in a short period of time,” said Dr. Deborah Beidel, the founder of UCF Restores, a program that uses a combination of counseling and exposure therapy to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Iraq War veteran Bruce Chambers was one of the first patients to go through the therapy.”

By Dana Jay at WOFL FOX 35

Read more: http://www.fox35orlando.com/news/local-news/217037965-story

Don’t like spiders or snakes? Clinic says virtual reality can defeat real fears (incl. video)

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“Scenarios involving spiders – so many spiders, crawling all over you – heights, public transport and crowds are being tested or are already available to download and use … at Australia’s first specialist, virtual-reality phobia treatment clinic, which recently opened in Sydney.

Meanwhile a large number of research groups are investigating potential uses for the new technology.

A London-based project for example is exploring using train-station simulations to treat social anxiety. The simulated patrons can even be programmed to turn and stare at the user – helpful for treating paranoia.”

By Liam Mannix at The Sydney Morning Herald

Image: Ignis VR

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/clinic-makes-real-life-less-scary-by-letting-you-face-fears-in-virtual-reality-20161107-gsjrj3.html