New VR therapy helps rehabilitate people with schizophrenia

Researchers from Semmelweis University in Budapest VR Assists in the process of rehabilitation for schizophrenic patients.

according to WHOThe disease affects approximately 24 million people worldwide and is associated with significant disability, often affecting all areas of life, including personal, social and occupational functioning.

Scientists have developed the so-called VR-To-MIS This is a therapeutic approach aimed at enhancing the patient’s mentalization (theory of mind) skills, a fundamental component of human cognition and social interaction (“Virtual reality-based mental Intervention Theory).

“Theory of mind is the ability to interpret the feelings, thoughts, and desires of others. Schizophrenics tend to misinterpret these messages. or misunderstand certain gestures, and our method aims to improve these skills.” explained Dr. Lajos Simon, director of the University’s Reality and Emotions Research Group, said:

How does it work?

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VR-ToMIS was developed using British software start up vTime, consisting of a total of nine sessions. It begins with an introductory course to familiarize patients with basic concepts such as technology and theory of mind. He then continues with eight 50-minute intervention sessions.

In the first step, patients don VR glasses and immerse themselves in everyday situations ranging from beach walks and blind dates to moving roommates and meeting new colleagues. In all simulated scenarios, the patient interacts with a therapist-controlled avatar. To uncover deficiencies in mentalization during dialogue, therapists use multiple linguistic tools such as metaphors, sarcasm, humor, and double-meaning sentences.

VR therapy schizophrenia