'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 ")

We Could Downgrade Puerto Rico - And Thereby Save It
'It was cheaper to pay the refugees to go without up-to-the-minute equipment.' - John Brunner, 1976.

The Neuroon Open Sleep Tracker For Lucid Dreaming
'Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer on the bedside shelf.' - Peter Watts, 1999.

'Do Not Pay' Chatbots To Replace Law Firm Associates?
'I want my lawyer program.' - David Brin, 1990.

Translate One2One From IBM's Watson Your Communication Solution
'It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix...' - Douglas Adams, 1979.

 

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

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Living things can sense and analyze complex signals in living cells.

Seasteading Floating Cities
'It was a remarkable island, circular, about half a kilometer in diameter.'

Tesla Semi 'Electrotruck' Unveiled
Elon Musk unveils yet another technological marvel.

Watch What People Are Seeing Via Brain Scanning
'had managed to see through the other man's eyes as the other man, all unaware, washed their Zis limousine sixteen hundred meters away...'

Integrated Circuits Printed Right Onto Fabric!
'...a shirt that displayed email on its sleeve.

Interstellar Asteroid Visits Our Solar System
'This asteroid had whirled in from the cold of the interplanetary space...'

PRIMA Bionic Vision Restoration
'The VISOR... was a medical device used in the Federation to aid patients who have suffered loss of eyesight...'

Audi Traffic Jam Pilot Knows If You're Sleeping
'Even here, riding a garbage truck to eternity, the machine watched him...'

UM Hall Thruster Breaks Records
Someday, we'll see an ion drive used to get to Mars.

Ionity Ultra-fast Charging Station Network
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

VAuth Voice Security Wearable From University of Michigan
'Siri, I gave you a voice command...' 'Yes, but do I know you?'

Ubiquiti FrontRow Camera Records Your Life
Why be choosy? Just upload your whole life to the Internet, and be done with it.

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.