Multisensory Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy

Abstract
Virtual reality (VR) technologies have evolved radically over the past decade, and many recent innovations offer promising and affordable solutions for a highly diverse range of applications. The treatment of anxiety disorders is considered as one of the most promising application areas of VR technologies and has become an viable alternative to regular exposure in vivo. The underlying idea of using a virtual environment for therapeutic purposes is to elicit the same physiological responses as they can occur under real-life conditions.

For the purpose of a configurable and mobile exposition environment, we designed a system that is able to provide a range of multisensory stimuli to the user to trigger different kinds of emotional responses.

To address the effect of the different cues on presence and emotional responses, new evaluation methods are being developed. These include the usage of biosensors (i.e. heart rate or galvanic skin response) to analyze the effects on user arousal.