Virtual Reality Therapy and Medical Technology
Virtual reality therapy (VRT) describes the computer-generated simulation of immersive, interactive, and reality-close virtual environments for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. A typical VRT application is for instance the reality-close visual simulation of anxiety-provoking situations by means of VR glasses for exposure therapy in anxiety disorders.
The aim of the research group "Virtual Reality Therapy and Medical Technology" (head: Dr. Niclas Braun) is the (further) development and multimodal examination of VR-based diagnostic and therapeutic methods for mental disorders. In addition, the research group deals with various medical technology issues, such as the development and efficacy evaluation of digital healthcare apps and electrosimulative therapy approaches.
- Development of new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of ADHD, panic disorder & agoraphobia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
- Experimental studies on the psychopathology and plasticity of the self by means of different body-transfer illusions (e.g. supernumerary limb illusion und resized limb illusion) in dissociative disorders and psychoses.
- Multimodal investigation (including EEG, EDA, EMG, ECG, actigraphy, eye tracking and fNIRS) of VR experiments.
- Therapeutic testing of electrostimulatory procedures (especially tACS).
- Research focus Digital Health Applications (DiGA) and Therapy-Apps.
Currently running research projects
- Multimodal Virtual Reality Based Assessment of Adult ADHD: A Feasibility Study in Healthy Subjects (A. Wiebe, K. Kannen, M. Li; sponsored by MEDICE)
- Multimodal ADHD-Diagnostics: a virtual seminar room study (A. Wiebe, A. Lepartz, D. Dudek, C. Brockmann)
- VR-induced experience of depersonalisation and derealization (C. Peckmann)
- Smartphone-assisted psychoeducation for ADHD (B. Selaskowski; within the scope of the AwareMe Project)
- Chatbot-assisted psychoeducation for ADHD (B. Selaskowski, M. Reiland; within the scope of the AwareMe Project)
- P300 modulation via tACS in patients with ADHD (K. Kannen; within the scope of the Attention Project)
- Assessment of sense of agency in obsessive-compulsive disorder using a virtual reality stove-checking paradigm (in cooperation with the OCD outpatient clinic)
- Smartphone-assisted exposure therapy in agoraphobia and panic disorder (M. Ehklas, M. Guth, A. Rodenjohann, F. Rohlfsen, J. Schilbach, A. Wiebe)
- VR-based and eyetracking-assisted attention refocusing training for ADHD patients (B. Selaskowski, L. Asché, sponsored by BONFOR)
- Body transfer illusions in the schizophrenia spectrum: a series of VR experiments (J. Pakos, J. Hackmann, K. Baum)
- Body transfer illusions in dissociative disorders: a series of VR experiments (M. Pensel, A. Kobialka)
- Dr. Niclas Braun, research group leader ()
- Benjamin Selaskowski, PhD Candidate
- Kyra Kannen, PhD Candidate
- Annika Wiebe, PhD Candidate
- Dr. Max Pensel, medical staff
- Dr. Matthias Guth, medical staff
- Dario Sanchéz, research assistant
- Kannen, K., Aslan, B., Boetzel, C., Herrmann, C. S., Lux, S., Rosen, H., … Braun, N. (2022). P300 Modulation via Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation in Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Crossover Study. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 13, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2022.928145
- Wiebe, A., Kannen, K., Li, M., Aslan, B., Anders, D., Selaskowski, B., Ettinger, U., Lux, S., Philipsen, A., & Braun, N. (2022). Multimodal Virtual Reality-Based Assessment of Adult ADHD: A Feasibility Study in Healthy Subjects. Assessment, 10731911221089192. https://doi.org/10.1177/10731911221089193
- Selaskowski, B., Staerk, C., Braun, N., Matthies, S., Graf, E., Colla, M., Jacob, C., Sobanski, E., Alm, B., Roesler, M., Retz, W., Retz-Junginger, P., Kis, B., Abdel-Hamid, M., Huss, M., Jans, T., Tebartz van Elst, L., Berger, M., Lux, S., … Philipsen, A. (2022). Multimodal treatment efficacy differs in dependence of core symptom profiles in adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: An analysis of the randomized controlled COMPAS trial. Journal of Psychiatric Research. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2022.03.049
- Peckmann, C., Kannen, K., Pensel, M. C., Lux, S., Philipsen, A., & Braun, N. (2022). Virtual reality induces symptoms of depersonalization and derealization: A longitudinal randomised control trial. Computers in Human Behavior, 131, 107233. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2022.107233
- Anders, D., Berisha, A., Selaskowski, B., Asché, L., Thorne, J. D., Philipsen, A., & Braun, N. (2021). Experimental Induction of Micro- and Macrosomatognosia: A Virtual Hand Illusion Study. Frontiers in Virtual Reality, 2, 47. https://doi.org/10.3389/frvir.2021.656788
- Braun, N., Berisha, A., Anders, D., Kannen, K., Lux, S., & Philipsen, A. (2020). Experimental Inducibility of Supernumerary Phantom Limbs: A Series of Virtual Reality Experiments. Frontiers in Virtual Reality, 1(October), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.3389/frvir.2020.00012
- Möller, T. J., Braun, N., Thöne, A.-K., Herrmann, C. S., & Philipsen, A. (2020). The Senses of Agency and Ownership in Patients With Borderline Personality Disorder. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11(June), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00474
- Spychala, N., Bongartz, E., Philipsen, A., Debener, S. & Braun, N. (2020). Self-paced, embodiable neurofeedback for post-stroke motor rehabilitation. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2019.00461
Recent conference contributions
- Wiebe, A., Kannen, K., Li, M., Aslan, B., Anders, D., Selaskowski, B., Ettinger, U., Lux, S., Philipsen, A. & Braun, N. Multimodal assessment of inattention and impulsivity: a virtual seminarroom study. Symposium talk, DPPD 2021.
- Peckmann, C., Lux, S., Philipsen A. & Braun, N. Does virtual reality gaming lead to feelings of depersonalisation and derealisation: a longitudinal VR study. Congress poster, DGPPN 2020.
- Li, M., Wiebe, A., Kannen, K., Selaskowski, B., Aslan, B., Lux, S., Ettinger, U., Anders, D., Philipsen, A. & Braun, N. Multimodal adult ADHD assessment by means of Virtual Reality: a feasibility study in healthy participants. Congress poster ADHD World Congress, 2020.
- Braun, N. Clinically inspired investigation of bodily self-awareness. Symposium talk, TeaP 2020.
- "Virtual Reality - Schöne neue Welt?", Phoenix-Dokumentation (ab Minute: 22:46),
- "Mit Apps gegen die Angst: Aus dem Diga-Verzeichnis des Bundesinstituts für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte", BR24 Gesundheitsmagazin vom 1.8.2021
- Mit einer App gegen Panik und Platzangst, UKB press release
- Is virtual reality bad for mental health?, Techmonitor.ai
- ADHS bei Erwachsenen, WDR Lokalzeit
- Virtual reality can induce mild and transient symptoms of depersonalization and derealization, study finds, Interview at PsyPost
Third-party funds raised
- 2020: BONFOR, Instrument 2: VR-based and eyetracking-assisted attention refocusing training for ADHD patients
- 2019: MEDICE: Multimodal adult ADHD assessment by means of Virtual Reality
Opportunities for internships and dissertations
Professionally-suitable students (e.g. Psychology, Cognitive Science, Medicine, Informatics) who would like to write their master's or doctoral thesis about a clinical or neurophilosophical VR-related topic, are warmly welcomed to contact
- Ausschreibung Masterarbeit "Machine Learning based Identification of ADHD-Symptoms: an offline Analysis of a multimodal Virtual Reality Experiment"
- Ausschreibung Masterarbeit / med. Doktorarbeit "Bodily self-awareness in schizophrenia: a series of virtual reality experiments“
- Ausschreibung Masterarbeit / med. Doktorarbeit "Bodily self-awareness in schizotypy: a series of virtual reality experiments“
Opportunities for study participation
The VR-Laboratory as well as the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy in general is constantly conducting new studies for which new study participants of all ages and sexes are being searched for.
Please find under the following link a list of all currently running studies for which prospective probands are searched for.