Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. 


Peter Diamandis

Virtual reality technology could be a powerful tool in diagnosing social anxiety disorder

Posted in Medicine on 25th Sep, 2017 07:47 PM by Alex Muller

A team of researchers is hoping to use virtual reality technology to diagnose social anxiety disorder. “Most of the work done with VR so far (including from our workgroup) was done either as a treatment for anxiety disorders or as a method to investigate mechanisms behind exposure therapy.


This is one of the first studies that used VR as a possible diagnostic tool (in this case for social fear),” explained study author Youssef Shiban of the University of Regensburg.

“Once validated in other studies, this could open new doors for us as therapists and researchers, as we can use behavioral and psychophysiological data to better diagnose. This is extremely useful as most diagnoses are conducted per conversation and are based on subjective input from the patient that could be biased for various reasons.”
The researchers found that they could distinguish between low- and high-social-anxious participants by using VR technology to monitor how long people looked at faces in a virtual social situation.
The study of 19 low- and 18 high-socially-anxious participants used two different virtual social environments. One environment involved the participant obtaining a train ticket. The second virtually recreated the waiting room of a doctor’s office.
The researchers monitored the participants’ eye movements and skin conductance while they navigated the virtual worlds, but only observed a higher skin conductance response in high-anxious participants in the train scenario. However, they observed that in both virtual environments the high-anxious group concentrated their gaze for a significantly shorter time on the faces of the avatars.
“If you had to choose between skin conductance and eye tracking to differentiate between socially fearful participants and someone with less social fear, go with eye tracking,” Shiban told PsyPost.
Previous research has found that anxious individuals are quick to gaze at potentially threatening stimuli but subsequently avert their eyes, which serves as a defensive reaction to reduce anxiety.
Though the initial results are promising, more research is needed.
“This line of research is still in its infancy, there is a lot of work to do before you can diagnose someone using virtual reality,” Shiban said. “We still need to test and validate this in more studies and with pathological groups and validate it using clinical interviews. Give us time.”
The study, “Potential Of Virtual Reality As A Diagnostic Tool For Social Anxiety: A Pilot Study“, was also co-authored by Martin Dechant, Sabine Trimpl, Christian Wolff, Andreas Mühlberger.

Tags: VRvirtual realitysoftwaremedicineanxiety

Read original article » Back to category



Recent headlines

  • Posted in Medicine on 2018-03-18 20:36:22
    Study suggests our biological ageing is slowing more
    Posted in Science on 2018-03-18 20:25:57
    NASA's plan to bat away Earth-bound more
    Posted in Science on 2018-03-18 20:21:05
    Nearly 7,000 New Craters Discovered On Moon By AI more
    Posted in Medicine on 2018-03-17 19:49:27
    A simple artificial heart could permanently replace more
    Posted in Software on 2018-03-16 11:03:28
    60.3% of harmful Android apps in 2017 detected more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Martian landscapes formed from sand 'levitating' on a more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists detect comets outside our solar more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Advanced artificial limbs mapped in the more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Bacteria have a sense of more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Recurrent brain cancer: New hope with phase 1 clinical more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me