'Virtual Iraq' Therapy For PTSD

Virtual Iraq is a software program designed to treat post-traumatic stress disorder in soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The virtual reality program allows the user to put on a headset and "return" to the scene of trauma.


(Research assistant demos Virtual Iraq tech)

With the headset on, the veteran has a 360-degree view of the virtual world. He can look up at the tiled dome of a mosque or down at the mosaic at his feet. A special platform enables him to feel the vibration of the Humvee engine or the concussion of a bomb blast. A scent machine replicates the smell of smoke, diesel, sweat, burning rubber or traditional Iraqi foods. The veteran can also interact with soldiers, civilians and insurgents, although he can't kill anyone or be killed.

The program comes with a joystick, but many veterans who helped test the equipment felt insecure exploring Virtual Iraq without a weapon in their hands, so a fully weighted dummy of an M16 assault rifle was created for them to hold, instead.

It's an innovative way to reach out to veterans who might otherwise shy away from talking about their problems, said Richard De La Garza, an associate professor of psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine.

Science fiction readers have been prepared for this viewpoint. John Varley's novel Steel Beach presents a computer that provides therapy by projecting children into a sort of virtual world (actually implanting false memories of living in a fantasy world). Also, Roger Zelazny wrote a novel called The Dream Master in which a therapist controls a virtual world to help patients.

See also the article Hacking the Mind of the Soldier; from chron.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/18/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Culture ")

Glad 2020 Is Over
Maybe you missed one of these?

'Black Friday' Online Shopping - In 1899!
'In your days they showed you a fashion-plate,' said the tailor, 'but this is our modern development.' HG Wells, 1899.

What Does A Tesla Full Self-Driving Car See?
'All objects within my panoramic gaze trembled and vibrated like quick motion pictures...' - Paramahansa Yogananda, 1946.

Satoshi Tomizu Creates Pocket Universes And Worldcraft Bubbles In Glass
'The Worldcraft bubble glittered, catching the light...' - Philip K. Dick, 1953.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Flatcat Robot Recalls Both Heinlein And Simak
Sorry, you'll need to read the article.

Nuclear Batteries May Pack Inner Punch
'... the most super-valuable substance in the solar system.'

Elon Musk STILL Wants To Make Heinlein's 1940's Speedster
'As she neared the barrier the car surged and lifted...'

Mercury Capsule Ablative Shielding
'...a synthetic which air-friction would erode away.'

Heinlein And Russian Quail In Orbit
'No earth-hatched bird can learn to fly in that fashion...'

Listen Up, Coppertop - Wearable Device Turns You Into A Battery
'It's our way or the highway.'

Solar Powered Robot Cleans Up Solar Panels For Free
'... with large padded feet, who were apparently polishing their way the whole length of Rama's six artificial suns.'

Spot Arm From Boston Dynamics Picks Up Like Heinlein's Hired Girl Robot
'Anything larger than a BB shot it picked up and placed in a tray on its upper surface...'

Electric Vehicle Prices Will Drop To $2,890
'the human seats took up two-thirds of the room in each'

TIGER Ultimate Mobility Vehicle From Hyundai
'He admired the fast-plodding, articulated legs...'

Drones Communicate With Each Other Using Quantum Encryption
'the curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits...'

Space Construction Tools For Large Structures By OAC
'Mass-produced in the orbiting factories...'

SpinCare Electrospins And Shoots Wound Dressing
'Over her lacerated right shoulder he sprayed art-derm...'

Tesla Model S And X Moves Toward KITT Knight Rider Styling
Now, that was a Pontiac Trans Am with some real style.

Sophia Robots By The Thousands
'There is a built-in microphone that hears everything you say, and an electric brain that selects a suitable answer.'

Scaly-Foot Snail Works With Iron
'Micro-Scale suit tiles fabricated by genetically engineered metal affinity bacteria...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.