“A new study, published in the journal Biological Psychology, exposed participants with arachnophobia (a fear of spiders) first to real spiders and then to virtual ones.
There were two important findings – first that these “spider phobic” participants overestimated a spider’s size, secondly that this bias could then be reduced using VR.
Though it was already known that a fear of a particular object or event can increase your attention to it, this is the first time it has been shown that individuals with arachnophobia overestimate a spider’s size.”
By Melissa Hogenboom for BPS Research Digest
Read more: http://digest.bps.org.uk/2016/04/hanging-out-with-virtual-reality.html?m=1
“Therapists do not typically keep boxes of live spiders in their desks. That can make it tricky to treat patients suffering from arachnophobia using exposure therapy, one of the most popular ways to combat phobias.
So startups and universities are starting to treat phobias using virtual reality. With realistic and immersive technologies like the Oculus Rift, therapists could help a patient overcome crippling fear using safe, easy-to-wrangle simulated spiders.”
By Heather Kelly at Money CNN
Read more: http://money.cnn.com/2015/04/29/technology/virtual-reality-therapy-phobias/