Monthly Archives: January 2015

Virtual Reality Improving Lives of Stroke Survivors: Study


“Improving prospective memory – the ability to remember to perform actions in the future – was crucially important to everyday life and to the rehabilitation of stroke patients, University of Canterbury Professor Tanja Mitrovic said in a statement.”

Professor Mitrovic’s project is breaking new ground in helping patients rehabilitate faster after a stroke.

“We have developed a treatment method which improves prospective memory in stroke patients. These tests using a virtual reality environment for stroke patients to practise their cognitive skills clearly work.”

“We conducted a study which ended in October last year with 15 stroke survivors. Each participant had 10 individual sessions spread over 10 weeks. The analysis shows that the memory skills of the stroke patients we tested increased significantly,” said Mitrovic.”

By Indo-Asian News Service and University of Canterbury

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Virtual Games Try To Generate Real Empathy For Faraway Conflict (blog incl. audio & video)

Image: James Delahoussaye at NPR

“Project Syria, [is] a virtual reality experience built by a team of students at USC. The bomb blast and the destruction are created with the same kind of tools used for video games, except that this is not a regular video game.

Nonny de la Peña, head of Project Syria and a longtime journalist in print and film, says the game helps people feel a little closer to Syrians in the middle of the civil war.”


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“Virtual reality (VR) might help us overcome these implicit biases, according to a paper recently published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences. Researchers used VR to help people slip into the skin of an avatar and temporarily take on a new identity, cultivating cross-racial empathy along the way.”

“These simple illusions manipulate the way the brain uses information from senses like sight and touch. They show how plastic our brain is,” Manos Tsakiris, a co-author of the paper and professor of psychology at the University of London, told Popular Science.”

By Alissa Zhu at Popular Science

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Researchers using virtual reality therapy to teach self-compassion (video) – Dr Caroline Falconer

Photo Credit: Mr Aitor Rovira (UCL)

“Researchers say self-compassion can be taught using avatars in an immersive virtual reality, with their trials showing reduced self-criticism and increased self-compassion in participants. The scientists behind the study are now investigating the longevity of the therapy and say it could be applied to treat a range of clinical conditions.”

By Matthew Stock, Thomson Reuters.

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