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Daniel Freeman, Polly Haselton, Jason Freeman, Bernhard Spanlang, Sameer Kishore, Emily Albery, Megan Denne, Poppy Brown, Mel Slater, Alecia Nickless
BACKGROUND: Engaging, interactive, and automated virtual reality (VR) treatments might help solve the unmet needs of individuals with mental health disorders. We tested the efficacy of an automated cognitive intervention for fear of heights guided by an avatar virtual coach (animated using motion and voice capture of an actor) in VR and delivered with the latest consumer equipment. METHODS: We did a randomised trial of automated VR versus usual care. We recruited adults aged older than 18 years with a fear of heights by radio advertisements in Oxfordshire, UK...
July 11, 2018: Lancet Psychiatry
Lou Safra, Christina Ioannou, Frédérique Amsellem, Richard Delorme, Coralie Chevallier
Individual differences in social motivation have an influence on many behaviours in both clinical and non-clinical populations. As such, social motivation has been identified as a biological trait that is particularly well-suited for dimensional approaches cutting across neuropsychological conditions. In the present paper, we tested whether social motivation had a similar impact in the general population and in a neuropsychological condition characterized by diminished social motivation: Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)...
July 13, 2018: Scientific Reports
Elisabeth Leehr, Katrin Elisabeth Giel, Norbert Schaeffeler, Isabelle Mack, Ansgar Thiel, Guido Zurstiege, Stephan Zipfel
OBJECTIVE: We investigated how individuals with normal weight (NW) versus individuals with obesity (OB) visually explore human bodies varying in BMI. METHODS: 16 OB (BMI 37.5 ± 7.7 kg/m²) and 35 NW (BMI 21.5 ± 1.6 kg/m²) visually explored 35 natural photographs and 25 avatars depicting male and female bodies ranging from normal weight to obesity. Gaze behaviour was assessed using eye tracking technology. Additionally, participants rated the attractiveness of all body stimuli...
July 11, 2018: Obesity Facts
Nesrine Akkari, Anne-Sarah Ganske, Ana Komerički, Brian Metscher
We present high-resolution X-ray microtomography (microCT) to enhance the standard morphological description of a recently described centipede, Eupolybothrus liburnicus Akkari, Komerički, Weigand, Edgecombe and Stoev, 2017. The 3D images of the holotype and paratype specimens are considered here as cybertypes for the species-a universal and virtual representation of the type material. This 'avatar' of the holotype is the first published male centipede cybertype. The microtomographic data of both types revealed further characters of systematic value and allowed us to hypothesise on the function of some of the male secondary structures and the mating behaviour of the species...
2018: PloS One
Marco Hirnstein, Frank Larøi, Julien Laloyaux
According to popular beliefs and anecdotes, females best males when handling multiple tasks at the same time. However, there is relatively little empirical evidence as to whether there truly is a sex difference in multitasking and the few available studies yield inconsistent findings. We present data from a paradigm that was specifically designed to test multitasking abilities in an everyday scenario, the computerized meeting preparation task (CMPT), which requires participants to prepare a room for a meeting and handling various tasks and distractors in the process...
July 2, 2018: Psychological Research
Tiffany E Shubert, Anang Chokshi, Victoria M Mendes, Stephanie Grier, Helen Buchanan, Jeanna Basnett, Matthew Lee Smith
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The Otago Exercise Program (OEP) is effective at preventing falls and fall-related injuries. The resources and personnel required for program delivery and challenges inherent in monitoring participant adherence and compliance pose significant barriers to increasing the number of older adults participating in the OEP. Alternative delivery systems using virtual platforms may pose a solution. The purposes of this article were to (1) describe the "Stand Tall" intervention, a virtual translation of the OEP; (2) describe Stand Tall participant characteristics and fall-related risk at baseline; and (3) identify changes in physical performance measures associated with fall risk from baseline to 8-week follow-up...
June 28, 2018: Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy
Vincenzo Faraone, Pasquale Aprea, Timothy R Spencer
In today's demanding healthcare setting, many patients who are referred to hospital for treatment require some form of intravascular access device to administer required therapies and medications. It is estimated that most of admissions have an intravascular device placed on arrival to any given facility. Often these treatment prerequisites, combined with a wide range of available devices, based upon a combination of patient assessments, necessitated treatment regimens, and the use of a decision algorithm to choose the most appropriate device that provides all the patient's needs, requires a logical and methodical approach during the decision-making process...
August 2018: Minerva Medica
Florian Bernard, Jean-Michel Lemée, Ghislaine Aubin, Aram Ter Minassian, Philippe Menei
BACKGROUND: In awake craniotomy, it is possible to temporarily inactivate regions of the brain using direct electrical stimulation, while the patient performs neuropsychological tasks. If the patient shows decreased performance in a given task, the neurosurgeon will not remove these regions, so as to maintain all brain functions. OBJECTIVE: The objective of our study was to describe our experience of using a virtual reality (VR) social network during awake craniotomy and discuss its future applications for perioperative mapping of nonverbal language, empathy, and theory of mind...
June 26, 2018: Journal of Medical Internet Research
Linda A Dimeff, David A Jobes, Samantha A Chalker, Brian M Piehl, Leticia Lobo Duvivier, Benjamin C Lok, Mohan S Zalake, Julie Chung, Kelly Koerner
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 20, 2018: General Hospital Psychiatry
Susan Persky, William D Kistler, William M P Klein, Rebecca A Ferrer
Current models of genomic information provision will be unable to handle large-scale clinical integration of genomic information, as may occur in primary care settings. Therefore, adoption of digital tools for genetic and genomic information provision is anticipated, primarily using Internet-based, distributed approaches. The emerging consumer communication platform of virtual reality (VR) is another potential intermediate approach between face-to-face and distributed Internet platforms to engage in genomics education and information provision...
June 22, 2018: Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking
Parichat Wonggom, Huiyun DU, Robyn A Clark
AIM: The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of an avatar-based education application for improving knowledge and self-care behavior in patients with heart failure. BACKGROUND: Avatar-based technologies for supporting education are an innovative approach for patients with low literacy, low health literacy and English as a second language. The use of avatar technologies for patient education has shown benefits in improving knowledge, self-care behaviors and quality of life in chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and depression...
June 19, 2018: Journal of Advanced Nursing
Jintana Tongpeth, Huiyun Du, Robyn Clark
AIM: To evaluate the effectiveness of an interactive, avatar based education application to improve knowledge of and response to heart attack symptoms in people who are at risk of a heart attack. BACKGROUND: Poor knowledge of heart attack symptoms is recognised as a significant barrier to timely medical treatment. Numerous studies have demonstrated that technology can assist in patient education to improve knowledge and self-care. DESIGN: A single-center, non-blinded, two parallel groups, pragmatic randomized controlled trial...
June 19, 2018: Journal of Advanced Nursing
Christian Böffel, Jochen Müsseler
Modern computer-based applications often require the user to interact with avatars. Depending on the task at hand, spatial dissociation between the orientations of the user and the avatars might arise. As a consequence, the user has to adopt the avatar's perspective and identify herself/himself with the avatar, possibly changing the user's self-representation in the process. The present study aims to identify the conditions that benefit this change of perspective with objective performance measures and subjective self-estimations by integrating the idea of avatar-ownership into the cognitive phenomenon of spatial compatibility...
2018: Frontiers in Psychology
Carole Fakhry, Robert L Ferris
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 5, 2018: Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Rachele Pezzetta, Valentina Nicolardi, Emmanuele Tidoni, Salvatore Maria Aglioti
Detecting errors in one's own actions, and in the actions of others, is a crucial ability for adaptable and flexible behavior. Studies show that specific EEG signatures underpin the monitoring of observed erroneous actions (error-related negativity, error-positivity, mid-frontal theta oscillations). However, the majority of studies on action observation used sequences of trials where erroneous actions were less frequent than correct actions. Therefore, it was not possible to disentangle whether the activation of the performance monitoring system was due to an error - as a violation of the intended goal - or a surprise/novelty effect, associated with a rare and unexpected event...
June 6, 2018: Journal of Neurophysiology
Melinda Gushwa, Jetta Bernier, David Robinson
Child sexual abuse (CSA) in schools and educator misconduct represents a threat to the safety and well-being of our children. The Enough! Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in My School program is a 1-hour online training course developed to address the problem of sexual misconduct and CSA in K-12 education via the use of two avatars/teachers who are navigating CSA and misconduct in their schools. One hundred and thirty-four teachers from three school districts participated in a study to examine the effectiveness of the program in terms of knowledge awareness, including prevalence rates, types of CSA behaviors, impact of CSA on children, signs and symptoms, reporting responsibilities and responses to suspected abuse...
May 24, 2018: Journal of Child Sexual Abuse
Xiaoming Wang, Stuart C White, Mairin Balisi, Jacob Biewer, Julia Sankey, Dennis Garber, Z Jack Tseng
Borophagine canids have long been hypothesized to be North American ecological 'avatars' of living hyenas in Africa and Asia, but direct fossil evidence of hyena-like bone consumption is hitherto unknown. We report rare coprolites (fossilized feces) of Borophagus parvus from the late Miocene of California and, for the first time, describe unambiguous evidence that these predatory canids ingested large amounts of bone. Surface morphology, micro-CT analyses, and contextual information reveal (1) droppings in concentrations signifying scent-marking behavior, similar to latrines used by living social carnivorans; (2) routine consumption of skeletons; (3) undissolved bones inside coprolites indicating gastrointestinal similarity to modern striped and brown hyenas; (4) B...
May 22, 2018: ELife
Jintana Tongpeth, Hui Yun Du, Robyn A Clark
AIMS: To develop and evaluate an interactive, avatar-based education application, for improving patients' knowledge of, and response to, ACS symptoms. BACKGROUND: A patient's ability to recognise and respond to the symptoms of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is imperative for seeking timely medical intervention. Innovative patient education interventions are needed to support patient education and patient self-care. METHODS: Participatory action research methods were used to engage consumers with cardiac and IT experts to develop an avatar-based education application...
May 18, 2018: Journal of Clinical Nursing
Riccardo Villa, Emmanuele Tidoni, Giuseppina Porciello, Salvatore Maria Aglioti
The control of one's own movements and of their impact on the external world generates a feeling of control referred to as Sense of Agency (SoA). SoA is experienced when actions match predictions and is reduced by unpredicted events. The present study investigated the contribution of monitoring two fundamental components of action-movement execution and goal achievement-that have been most often explored separately in previous research. We have devised a new paradigm in which participants performed goal-directed actions while viewing an avatar's hand in a mixed-reality scenario...
May 16, 2018: Experimental Brain Research. Experimentelle Hirnforschung. Expérimentation Cérébrale
Ryota Kondo, Maki Sugimoto, Kouta Minamizawa, Takayuki Hoshi, Masahiko Inami, Michiteru Kitazaki
Body ownership can be modulated through illusory visual-tactile integration or visual-motor synchronicity/contingency. Recently, it has been reported that illusory ownership of an invisible body can be induced by illusory visual-tactile integration from a first-person view. We aimed to test whether a similar illusory ownership of the invisible body could be induced by the active method of visual-motor synchronicity and if the illusory invisible body could be experienced in front of and facing away from the observer...
May 15, 2018: Scientific Reports
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