Category Archives: Virtual Reality Therapy

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

How virtual reality is improving end-of-life care (incl. video)

In the UK, terminally ill patients are being transported from the hospice to other worlds.

Charity hospice Loros which provides hospice and home care to roughly 2,500 terminally ill individuals across Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland, UK, has launched a new project which uses virtual reality to enhance end-of-life care.

The idea is to help those who have limited mobility to experience life outside of treatment and give them the chance to go back to places in their past which hold fond memories, as well as experience new areas beyond the hospice and home.”

By Charlie Osborne for Between the Lines at zdnet

Image: Loros

Read more:

https://www-zdnet-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/www.zdnet.com/google-amp/article/how-virtual-reality-is-improving-end-of-life-care/

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/

See the Newcastle virtual reality room helping children with autism overcome their phobias

An immersive virtual reality room that helps children with autism overcome their phobias is now being offered on the NHS.

In 2014, scientists at Newcastle University found that virtual reality can help youngsters with autism spectrum disorder overcome their serious fears.

Now, the first NHS patients have been referred for treatment in what is known as the Newcastle Blue Room.”

By Katie Dickinson at Chronicle Live

Read more:

https://cdn.ampproject.org/c/www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/health/see-newcastle-virtual-reality-room-12593593.amp

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/