Serious games for therapy of psychologic disorders

In recent years, progressive exposure therapy has proven to become very effective in the treatment of psychological disorder. Following this principle and due to the danger that sometimes in vivo or in loco exposure brings to the patient, it is important to develop a Virtual or Augmented Reality framework that allows that same experiences. This proposal focus on the manipulation of perceived self, i.e. modifying the perception that the users have of their own body. When applied either to Virtual or Augmented Reality systems, the users must be able to look at themselves (looking down or through a mirror) and see a different body, and feel it as theirs body. The idea is to exploit the “rubber hand illusion” and extend it to make the users believe and feel that they own a new body, not just a different hand. The modified body perception will enable the development of serious games for the therapy of specific disorders such as phobic disorders.

Work plan:

  1. Study the fundamentals of Virtual and Augmented Reality systems and some Psychological Disorders therapies protocol.
  2. Integration of body tracker into the OpenAR platform.
  3. Development of games.
  4. Integration of online self-response questioners and bio-signals recording systems in order to validate the game.
  5. Collect a dataset of real patients with specific psychological disorders.

Supervision: Prof. Paulo Menezes &  MSc. Bruno Patrão