Some more news on VR work. A new paper, “Believing is Seeing: A proof-of-concept study on using mobile Virtual Reality to boost the effects of Interpretation Bias Modification for anxiety” has been accepted to JMIR Mental Health.
I am fortunate to be working with many passionate PhD students interested in VR work 🙂
Abstract of the paper:
Background:Cognitive Bias Modification of Interpretations (CBM-I) is a computerized intervention designed to change negatively biased interpretations of ambiguous information, which underlie and reinforce anxiety. The repetitive and monotonous features of CBM-I can negatively impact on training adherence and learning processes.
Objectives:This proof-of-concept study examined whether performing a CBM-I training using mobile Virtual Reality technology (VR-CBM-I) improves training experience and effectiveness.
Methods: Forty-two students high in trait anxiety completed one session of either VR-CBM-I or standard CBM-I training for performance anxiety. Participants’ feelings of immersion and presence, emotional reactivity to a stressor, and changes in interpretation bias and state anxiety, were assessed.
Results:The VR-CBM-I resulted in greater feelings of presence (P< 0.001, d = 1.47) and immersion (P< 0.001, ηp2= 0.74) in the training scenarios and outperformed the standard training in effects on state anxiety (P< 0.001, ηp2= 0.3) and emotional reactivity to a stressor (P= 0.027, ηp2= 0.12). Both training varieties successfully increased the endorsement of positive interpretations (P < 0.001, drepeated measures (drm) = 0.79) and decreased negative ones. (P < 0.001, drm= 0.72) In addition, changes in the emotional outcomes were correlated with greater feelings of immersion and presence.
Conclusions:This study provided first evidence that 1) the putative working principles underlying CBM-I trainings can be translated into a virtual environment, and 2) VR holds promised as a tool to boost the effects of CMB-I training for highly anxious individuals, whilst increasing users’ experience with the training application.