Virtual reality to study responses to social environmental stressors in individuals with and without psychosis

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2011:167:86-91.


A Virtual Reality (VR) environment was created to study psychotic symptoms in patients and non-patients. Participants' task was to find five virtual characters that each had a small number label on his or her chest. The density and ethnic appearance of the virtual characters in the bar was controlled. For a non-patient group (N=24), results showed a significant main effect for density on participants' physiological responses, their behavior, reported level of discomfort, and their ability to remember place and location of the numbered avatars. The avatar's ethnicity had a significant effect on non-patients' physiological responses. Comparison between two patients and non-patient group showed differences in physiological responses, behavior and reported level of discomfort.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychotic Disorders / physiopathology
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology*
  • Schizophrenia, Paranoid / physiopathology
  • Schizophrenia, Paranoid / psychology
  • Social Environment*
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • User-Computer Interface*