“A clinician-driven virtual learning platform, tailored to young adults on the autism spectrum, results in improved social competency, a pilot study shows.
The findings, from researchers at the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas, in collaboration with co-leading authors at George Washington University and Yale, reveal that increases in socio-emotional and socio-cognitive abilities correlate with brain change.
Results included increased activation in the right posterior superior temporal sulcus, the brain’s socio-cognition hub, with gains linked to improvement on an empathy measure.”
“Virginia Anderlini (above) was the first private client to try out Dr. Sonya Kim’s new virtual reality program for the elderly, and says she’s eager to see more.
“There are over 100 clinical research papers that are already published that show proven positive clinical outcomes using VR in managing chronic pain, anxiety and depression,” Kim says. “And in dementia patients, all those three elements are very common.”
In addition to having private clients, Kim conducts group therapy sessions at Bay Area assisted-living centers, where a dozen or so people take turns with the goggles.”
Image and text by Kara Platoni at KQED Public Media
“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.”
“Cigna’s Virtual Relaxation Pod transports users into a virtual environment to promote a state of mindfulness.
Cigna Solution Architect Rachel Stein told Medical Daily. “We used Oculus technology to transport the user into a place they’d find relaxing. In future models, the user will be able to choose from different sounds, voices, and a wider variety of environments to relax after a long day of work or when feeling stressed out. My favorite is the woodland campsite.”
Stein, along with her team members, hope to eventually see the pod inside hospital lobbies, where they believe it’ll be used to calm patients about to undergo surgery.”
“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.”
“The quality of virtual reality systems – immersive, computer-generated worlds – has advanced dramatically in recent years, as can be seen by the expansive editorial from journalists testing Oculus Rift headsets.
University of Montreal researcher Massil Benbouriche has used this realism to help understand the impulses of sex offenders in order to find better ways of treating them. Key to using virtual reality as therapy is the degree to which an individual identifies with the world. Benbouriche uses a virtual reality headset and various audio-visual stimuli within a “cave”, or a cube of screens, to provide an immersive experience to the participant.
Virtual reality has been used in psychology as a treatment option for many behavioural disorders for more than a decade. Virtual reality therapy, together with psycho-therapeutic approaches such as cognitive behavioural therapy, has been used to treat disorders among the general population, as well as criminal behaviour.”
By Bobbie Ticknor, Assistant Professor in Criminal Justice at Valdosta State University writing for The Conversation
“I’m testing Bravemind, an immersive virtual reality exposure therapy session for returning veterans with PTSD. It’s all part of an attempt to treat military patients using a technique called “exposure therapy,” which conventionally consists of therapists talking their patients through guided encounters with environments like crowded marketplaces, automobiles, and indoor spaces where their initial trauma took place.”
“Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan has ended, but for many war veterans, the haunting memories can linger for years. That’s why the Canadian military is testing a new, high-tech therapy to help treat soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
The virtual-reality software, developed for the U.S. military, re-creates the war in a controlled environment, with therapists hoping it will unlock traumatic memories and allow the healing process to begin.
“If PTSD is so difficult, it’s because people are constantly reliving these horrific scenes in a lot of vivid detail,” social worker Marianne Vincent told CTV News.”