Virtual Reality Cannabis Cue Exposure Assessment System
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This proposed project seeks to develop and test the feasibility of a human laboratory and clinically based virtual reality cannabis cue exposure assessment system (VR-CCA) for cannabis abuse and dependence. Traditional assessment methods (cue exposure) involve bringing persons into austere laboratory or clinical environments and using photos, video, paraphernalia or therapist role playing to elicit and assess reactions. While this results in reactions, the inherent lack of ecological validity may limit generalization of traditional cue exposure in treatment programs. 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. VR-CCA for cannabis would combine the elements of VR with specific drug cues, environments, drug related social interactions, olfactory cues (various scents) and other associated stimuli in the safe, confidential and controlled lab or office setting. VR-CCA combining video images and exposure to complex cues can expand traditional assessment methods (i.e. cue-exposure/reactivity) approaches and offer distinct advantages over traditional approaches. This project will focus on the development of a VR-CCA combining both computer generated and video images depicting cannabis smoking cues (e.g. cannabis cigarettes, pipes, burning joints) and cannabis smoking social interactions (e.g. being offered a cannabis cigarette in a social context). The feasibility of VR-CCA will be tested in an open clinical pilot trial with current cannabis smokers. Twenty cannabis smokers will be exposed to both VR neutral stimuli and VR drug (cannabis) stimuli. Physiological arousal and self-reported craving and mood will be compared between the VR neutral and VR drug (cannabis) stimuli. The aim of this project is to develop and pilot test VR-CCA for cannabis smokers. The long-term goal is to develop and test the VR-CCA, and develop affordable turnkey, VR-CCA systems that will be commercially available to substance abuse programs, individual therapists, hospitals, and drug addiction researchers for assessment and treatment of cannabis 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
UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
Decauter, GA 30602
Nonprofit college or university