Virtual Technology and Our Mental Health

Virtual Technology and Our Mental Health

Studies show that experience gained in a virtual environment in its essence is similar to the one gained in the real world. Even now, in the early days of development of VR technology, we can conclude that the situation in which we find ourselves in the virtual world will cause in our brain reactions that are similar to these in the real world.

 

This is an important finding, which companies creating training  VR applications acknowledge as vital. The assimilation of a theory is a matter of remembering a lot  of information, while the practice means using this knowledge to find good solutions to a problem. But what if we find ourselfs in specific, rare, and unusual conditions? Are we ready to use the knowledge learned from books and lecturers when our lives are in danger?

 

Another issue that bothers us is the safety of using VR glasses. We may ask ourselves, “Can VR goggles be a potential  threat to our health? In 2003, when psychiatrists began using the virtual world experience in the treatment of post-traumatic stress, Albert Rizzo wrote about his ethical dilemma, wondering what might happen if a patient lost balance between the real and virtual worlds? In its speculative effects this could lead to a deepening of delusions or other mental disorders. However, when asked recently about his observations, Rizzo said that his fears had not been confirmed. Research will continue, in particular, from the moment when VR  reaches the mainstream and VR technology users spend in virtual worlds a few hours a day.
Many concerns related to the use of VR focus on the  detachment from reality, when you lose contact with the physical environment around you, and the eyes and the whole brain in the process conform to the new conditions of virtual experiences. Is it actually a fear or the very essence of new tools and innovative solutions? VR devices are designed to create a multi-sensory, deep experience, and it is not only for the games but for training and therapeutic purposes as well. I guess, it would be  impossible to achieve this goal if the VR were not what it aspires to be.

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