Exposure Therapy for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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The use of Virtual Reality as a tool for therapy has found many applications in treating phobias such as fear of flying or fear of heights. The University of Southern Californias (USC) Institute for Creative Technologies has developed a virtual environ ment for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD) diagnosed in veterans of the Iraq war. This system allows clinical psychologists to allow patients to experience combat scenarios in a low threat context, whereby exposure of the patient is c arefully controlled.

The University of Readings Visualisation Centre (RVC), in collaboration with USC, and sponsored by Roland (UK), are developing a novel interface to this interactive virtual simulator, and porting it to our ReaCTor using VieGen. Here, users are fully immersed in a 3m by 3m computer generated room without the need for the more traditional Head Mounted Display systems. Roland (UK) will b e sponsoring a full surround sound system and novel interfaces for the project is a multi-person, room-sized, high-resolution 3D video and audio environment.

Graphics are projected in stereo onto three walls and the floor, and viewed with active stereo glasses equipped with a location sensor. As the user moves within the display boundaries, the correct perspective is displayed in real-time to achieve a full y immersive experience.

To launch the project, Prof. Albert Rizzo of USC gave a workshop on the use of Virtual Reality for the Assessment, Therapy and Rehabilitation in Reading in September 2006. The project will be joined by the Sensorama Lab team at A alborg University, Esbjerg (Denmark) under the direction of Prof. Tony Brooks. Exposure Therapy Evaluation Project Personnel:

At RVC: Adrian Haffegee, Ronan Jamieson, Paul Sharkey

At USC: Skip Rizzo, Jarrell Pair

At Sensorama Lab: Tony Brooks, Bruno Herbelin, Jan Ciger

Press Release

For further details, please contact:
Prof.Paul Sharkey
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On the right it is possible to see some of the work currently being undertaken by the Centre.



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