'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 ")

Ontario Starts Guaranteed Minimum Income
'Earned by just being born.'- Philip Jose Farmer, 1967.

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?' - Richard Morgan, 2003.

TMS Decreases Belief In God, Increases Belief In Immigrants
'... Setting up the same currents, the same basic ideas, in them all.' - Edmond Hamilton, 1938.

Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
'Any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a yes or no.' - John Brunner, 1975.

 

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

Ontario Starts Guaranteed Minimum Income
'Earned by just being born.'

Is There Life In Outer Space? Will We Recognize It?
'The antennae of the Life Detector atop the OP swept back and forth...'

Space Traumapod For Surgery In Spacecraft
' It was a ... coffin, form-fitted to Nessus himself...'

Tesla Augmented Reality Hypercard
'The hypercard is an avatar of sorts.'

A Space Ship On My Back
''Darn clever, these suits,' he murmured.'

Biomind AI Doctor Mops Floor With Human Doctors
'My aim was just not to lose by too much.' - Human Physician participant.

Fuli Bad Dog Robot Is 'Auspicious Raccoon Dog' Bot
Bad dog, Fuli. Bad dog.

Las Vegas Humans Ready To Strike Over Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot... had to be compensated.'

You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.'

Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.'

Somnox Sleep Robot - Your Sleepytime Cuddlebot
Science fiction authors are serious about sleep, too.

Real-Life Macau or Ghost In The Shell
Art imitates life imitates art.

Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'

First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.

VirtualHome: Teaching Robots To Do Chores Around The House
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? - any work a human being does around a house.'

Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
SF writers have thought about this since the 19th century.

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.