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Friday, 8 October 2010

Virtual Food Causes Stress in Patients Affected by Eating Disorders

Food presented in a virtual reality (VR) environment causes the same emotional responses as real food.

The 10 anorexic, 10 bulimic and 10 control participants, all women, were initially shown a series of 6 real high-calorie foods placed on a table in front of them.

Their heart rate and skin conductance, as well as their psychological stress were measured during the exposure. This process was then repeated with a slideshow of the same foods, and a VR trip into a computer-generated diner where they could interact with the virtual version of the same 6 items. The participants' level of stress was statistically identical whether in virtual reality or real exposure.

Speaking about the results, Gorini said, "Since real and virtual exposure elicit a comparable level of stress we may eventually see VR being used to screen, evaluate, and treat the emotional reactions provoked by specific stimuli in patients affected by different psychological disorders."




Interesting study showing how virtual food can create a response within those with Eating Disorders.

Could this affect advertising in the future? Especially as advertising is slowly moving to becoming more interactive..

Link to Article

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