Empowering Minds: Conquering Fears Through Virtual Reality Experiences

Empowering Minds: Conquering Fears Through Virtual Reality Experiences
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According to a recent study, virtual reality (VR) experiences have become a cutting-edge method for studying and treating phobias and anxiety in people.

Researchers from Sony Computer Science Laboratories, lead by Ai Koizumi, demonstrated in VR studies how people’s bodily movements changed when they realized a virtual avatar could “hit” them.

When assessed 24 hours later, participants’ terror responses to the aggressive stranger were lowered by teaching them to physically combat the stranger in a virtual 3D environment.

Empowering Minds: Conquering Fears Through Virtual Reality Experiences

The findings demonstrated the part that body movements play in fear memory processes and point to the possibility of enhancing therapies for fear and traumatic memories by incorporating physical movement.

Researchers from NICT and Osaka University, under the direction of Masahiko Haruno, also investigated whether individuals who have a fear of heights would exhibit less obvious bodily signs of dread following an active virtual reality flight experience.

Subjects controlled a video of themselves flying over a city in the virtual reality flight experience. Without being able to control the movement, control subjects watched the flight.

Participants’ terror response decreased when asked to walk a plank in virtual reality after taking part in the virtual flight experience.

These results might provide a way to use virtual reality experiences to address phobias, including a fear of heights.

Novel experimental techniques using both human subjects and animal models highlight the effects of stress and terror on the brain and offer solutions to lessen these effects.

“Many people struggle with the effects of excessive fear and chronic stress on their mental and physical health,” stated Luiz Pessoa, a psychology professor and the head of the University of Maryland’s Maryland Neuroimaging Center.

The results provide new insights into the brain’s response to stress and fear, as well as innovative strategies for overcoming irrational anxieties.

The results were scheduled to be presented on Monday at “Neuroscience 2023,” the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting and the biggest global source of breaking news about brain science and health.

Disclaimer: The information provided is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as professional advice. Always consult with qualified professionals for specific concerns.

Empowering Minds: Conquering Fears Through Virtual Reality Experiences

Techno Tropics

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