“A new study asked participants to play the role of virtual therapist for themselves—and the results suggest that VR could be an effective therapeutic device for some people.
[The] study, conducted at the University of Barcelona by VR researchers and clinical psychologists … found that immediately after body swapping with Freud and counseling themselves in virtual reality, about 80% of the 29 participants reported feeling like they had a different perspective on their problem and that this would result in a change in the way they dealt with it.
Mel Slater, a professor at the University of Barcelona, co-director of the Experimental Virtual Environments for Neuroscience and Technology Lab, and the lead author of the paper [says] “The critical difference with the body swapping is you can think about it as if you’re another person listening to someone else’s problem …. That’s really what makes a difference.”
“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)
“This small indie game could be the Xanax of VR… billed by its creators as a meditative virtual-reality experience.”
“We want to help teach people these breathing techniques so that they can then manage these conditions outside of the game,” says co-creator Owen Harris of Deep VR’s intended stress- and anxiety-reducing goal. “This is a technology that exists within all of our bodies that costs no money… that we have all have access to.”
“Through a partnership with Isabela Granic, a professor of Behavioral Studies at Radboud University in the Netherlands, Deep VR will become more than just a calming escape for VR enthusiasts; it’s now the basis for a psychological study that aims to alleviate anxiety in children.”
“A better treatment [for motor impairments following stroke] might lie inside a virtual reality headset, according to USC researcher Sook-Lei Liew, who was just awarded a $150,000 Innovative Research Grant from the American Heart Association to explore the possibility of using the immersive world of virtual reality to create a brain-computer interface for the treatment of stroke survivors.
To give stroke survivors the necessary visual feedback, Liew developed REINVENT — “Rehabilitation Environment Using the Integration of Neuromuscular-based Virtual Enhancements for Neural Training” — which uses virtual reality as well as brain and muscle sensors to show hand movement in the virtual world when the patient has used the correct brain and muscle signals even if the patient cannot move his or her hand in the real world.”
“Is public speaking your biggest fear? Ever wish you could just disappear when you’re forced out in front of a crowd? Now you can.
A team of Swedish scientists has set up a virtual reality experiment that can trick people into feeling as if they were invisible. Then they set them up in front of a skeptical-looking crowd.
When people could see themselves in front of the audience, their heart rates and breathing went up —sure signs of anxiety. They also said they felt anxious. But when they wore the virtual reality headsets and felt invisible, they felt less anxious, Arvid Guterstam and colleagues at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm reported.”
“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.”
“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.”