topical media & game development

talk show tell print

example(s) -- VR for pain relief

The research project fMRI Research on Virtual Reality Analgesia at the Human Interaction Laboratory (Washington) has explored the use of VR to reduce the agonay of taking MRI scans. The U.W Radiology Digital Imaging Science Centers wide field of view magnet-friendly virtual reality image delivery system makes it possible for volunteers and patients to have the illusion of going into virtual reality during fMRI brain scans. As explained on the website, the image on the left above, shows a woman in virtual reality during an fMRI brain scan, looking into a custom magnet-friendly virtual reality goggles. VR images from projectors in another room are carried to the participant in the form of light (photons, no electrons) via optic fiber image guides. The participant has the illusion of going inside the virtual world, allowing researchers to measure what happens to her brain when she reports reductions in pain during VR. The white cage-like structure around the womans head, in the image on the right, shows fMRI receiver coils used by the fMRI brain scanner to collect the information about changing patterns of brain activity.

Another project investigating the use of VR techniques for pain distraction can be found at the site of the Virtual Environments of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta.

(C) Æliens 04/09/2009

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