“The clinical use for VR as therapy has been generating a “rich scientific literature” for the past 20 years, according to Dr. Albert “Skip” Rizzo of the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies.
“Finally, the technology has caught up with the vision in this area, and I expect it to really take off in the next year,” Rizzo tells Tech Insider.
“It has not been the theory or research that has held back clinical VR, rather the availability, adoption and costs that have limited its widespread use.”
“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.”
“The scientific team at the Center for BrainHealth is partnering with researchers at Yale’s Child Study Center to test the feasibility of providing the research-based training program to young adults across the country. A person with autism can use the technology to “practice” and hone their skills initiating a conversation with a person they would like to meet, interviewing for a job, or standing up for themselves by confronting a friend or colleague. Practicing social interaction in a safe, non-threatening, gaming environment helps people reduce anxiety and gain the confidence and skills they need to attempt more social interactions in their daily lives.”
By Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman from the Center for BrainHealth writing in the Huffington Post.
“People suffering from social anxiety could be helped to overcome their fears by viewing themselves taking part in virtual scenarios, research from the University of East Anglia suggests.
New imaging technology allowed six participants to rehearse their behaviour in a range of social settings.
They were able to practice small talk and maintain eye contact, for example.
Researchers said it could be used with cognitive behavioural therapy.
UEA researchers created more than 100 different virtual scenarios, such as using public transport, buying a drink at a bar, socialising at a party, shopping, and talking to a stranger in an art gallery.
Paul Strickland, of Xenodu, the company behind the virtual environment system, said it was designed to cater for the needs of socially anxious people.
“It isn’t a head-mounted display, which anxious people may find uncomfortable.
“Instead, the user observes from an out-of-body perspective. They can then simultaneously view themselves and interact with the characters of the film.”