ISSN: 1230-2813
Advances in Psychiatry and Neurology/Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii
Current issue Archive Manuscripts accepted About the journal Editorial board Abstracting and indexing Subscription Contact Instructions for authors Ethical standards and procedures
SCImago Journal & Country Rank
2/2019
vol. 28
 
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abstract:
Review paper

A paradigm description of virtual reality and its possible applications in psychiatry

Dawid Kruk
,
Dagmara Mętel
,
Andrzej Cechnicki

Adv Psychiatry Neurol 2019; 28 (2): 116-134
Online publish date: 2019/06/28
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Purpose
Virtual reality (VR) is a relatively new technology that has been used in psychiatric research on various types of mental disorders, including psychotic disorders, for over 25 years. The authors of this article present the aims and assumptions of virtual reality use, its most important theoretical concepts, key concepts, technology characteristics, as well as virtual environments, social interactions that occur within them, ethical aspects, safety issues and adverse effects related to VR.

Views
The authors discuss basic concepts of the VR environment and its impact on the users. They remain sensitive to ethical aspects related to research that use this technology. They describe certain specificities of virtual environments, the impact of their quality on the recipients and the conditions that have to be met in order to have an effective impact on them. They analyse research on the safety of VR for healthy individuals and psychiatric patients and present possible side effects. They discuss virtual embodiment techniques, the characteristics of social interactions in the virtual world and the possibilities of conducting research with the use of this environment.

Conclusions
Virtual reality is a relatively safe method, not causing many undesirable effects. However, ethical aspects related to long-term threats require further research. It enables ecologically valid research to be conducted while maintaining a high level of standardization. The mapping of simple social interactions is relatively accurate, even with the use of non-photorealistic virtual environments. The possibility of creating virtual embodiment illusions opens new research perspectives.

keywords:

virtual reality, paradigm description, presence

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