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Dr. Mar Rus-Calafell

Marruscalafell Zugeschnitten

Dr. Mar Rus-Calafell

University of Oxford, United Kingdom

"Using Virtual Reality to assess and treat Psychosis"


Psychosis is the umbrella term for a group of mental health conditions that affect a person's thoughts, feelings and behaviour. It is mainly characterised by hallucinations, delusions, thought disorder, negative symptoms and bizarre behaviour. Psychological therapies are widely recommended in international clinical practice guidelines as part of the treatment for people who experience psychosis. In this era of digital revolution, there has been a rapid increase on the use of technology to improve both efficacy and implementation of psychological interventions for psychosis. Digital technology offers new opportunities to improve well stablished cognitive and behavioural techniques in a novel, engaging and tailored way, while it provides with new therapeutic contexts that can go beyond face-to-face communication between the clinician and the person, like virtual environments capable to elicit real-time reactions and provide immediate feedback. One of the more promising technologies is Virtual Reality (VR), as it offers researchers and clinicians the possibility not only of observing the user’s real-time behaviour when interacting with virtual agents, but also of controlling and modifying the environment and the responses of the avatars. The main fields of research in virtual reality and psychosis are: safety and acceptability of the technology; neurocognitive evaluation; functional capacity and performance evaluation; assessment of paranoid ideation and auditory hallucinations; and interventions. Clinical research studies indicate that virtual reality offers a valuable method of assessing the presence of symptoms and neurocognitive deficits in ecologically valid environments, with the potential to facilitate learning new emotional and behavioural responses. This talk will provide an overview of the work that has been done during the last decades on the use of VR to assess and treat psychosis, including some clips and videos of the cutting edge applications in this field.

  1. Fakultät für Psychologie, Pädagogik und Sportwissenschaft
  2. Institut für Psychologie