VIRTUAL REALITY CUE EXPOSURE FOR DRUG ADDICTION: SMOKING
DESCRIPTION (provided by investigator): This study will develop and test the feasibility of virtual reality cue exposure (VRCE) for drug addiction: Smoking. Traditional cue exposure has involved bringing persons into an austere laboratory environment and using photos, video, or paraphernalia to elicit reactions. While traditional approaches result in reactions, generalization of this type of cue exposure into treatment programs remains in question. Virtual reality exposure (VRE) combines computer graphics with sensory input devices including: tracking devices, visual head mounted displays (HMD), and directional audio designed to immerse a participant in a computer generated virtual environment. VRCE for drug addiction would combine the elements of VR with specific drug cues, environments, drug related social interactions, and other associated stimuli in the safe, confidential and controlled lab or office setting. VRCE combining video images and exposure to complex cues can expand traditional cue-exposure (reactivity) approaches and offer distinct advantages over traditional approaches. This project will focus on the development of a VRCE combining both computer generated and video images depicting smoking cues (e.g. cigarette packages, ash trays, burning cigarette) and smoking social interactions (e.g. being offered a cigarette in a social context). The feasibility of VRCE will be tested in a clinical pilot study with cigarette smokers. Twenty nicotine dependent smokers will be exposed to both VR neutral stimuli and VR drug stimuli. Physiological arousal and self-reported craving will be compared between the VR neutral and VR drug stimuli. The aim of this project is to develop and pilot test VRCE for nicotine dependent cigarette smokers. The long-term goal is to develop and test the VRCE, and develop affordable turnkey, VRCE systems that will be commercially available to substance abuse programs, individual therapists, hospitals, and drug addiction researchers for nicotine and other drugs of abuse.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Research Institution Information:
VIRTUALLY BETTER, INC.
VIRTUALLY BETTER, INC. 2450 LAWRENCEVILLE HWY, STE 101 DECATUR, GA 30033
Number of Employees:
UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
LAWRENCEVILLE, GA 30602
Nonprofit college or university