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A functional magnetic resonance imaging assessment of small animals' phobia using virtual reality as a stimulus.

Clemente M, Rey B, Rodriguez-Pujadas A, Breton-Lopez J, Barros-Loscertales A, Baños RM, Botella C, Alcañiz M, Avila C - JMIR Serious Games (2014)

Bottom Line: This context will have the added benefit of allowing the subject to move and interact with the environment, giving the subject the illusion of being there.We have found brain activation mainly in the left occipital inferior lobe (P<.05 corrected, cluster size=36), related to the enhanced visual attention to the phobic stimuli; and in the superior frontal gyrus (P<.005 uncorrected, cluster size=13), which is an area that has been previously related to the feeling of self-awareness.In our opinion, these results demonstrate that virtual stimulus can enhance brain activations consistent with previous studies with still images, but in an environment closer to the real situation the subject would face in their daily lives.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: LabHuman, I3BH, Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, Valencia, Spain. yavanna12@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT

Background: To date, still images or videos of real animals have been used in functional magnetic resonance imaging protocols to evaluate the brain activations associated with small animals' phobia.

Objective: The objective of our study was to evaluate the brain activations associated with small animals' phobia through the use of virtual environments. This context will have the added benefit of allowing the subject to move and interact with the environment, giving the subject the illusion of being there.

Methods: We have analyzed the brain activation in a group of phobic people while they navigated in a virtual environment that included the small animals that were the object of their phobia.

Results: We have found brain activation mainly in the left occipital inferior lobe (P<.05 corrected, cluster size=36), related to the enhanced visual attention to the phobic stimuli; and in the superior frontal gyrus (P<.005 uncorrected, cluster size=13), which is an area that has been previously related to the feeling of self-awareness.

Conclusions: In our opinion, these results demonstrate that virtual stimulus can enhance brain activations consistent with previous studies with still images, but in an environment closer to the real situation the subject would face in their daily lives.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Brain activations for the “dirty>clean” contrast.
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figure5: Brain activations for the “dirty>clean” contrast.

Mentions: We selected the contrast “phobic>clean”, and looked for the main activated brain regions. We found activations in the left occipital inferior lobe and middle occipital gyrus bilaterally, among others (see “superior” part of Table 1, and Figure 3 also shows this activation). Brain regions that also displayed significant activations during the task were: (1) the cuneus bilaterally, (2) the superior frontal gyrus, and (3) the precuneus. In the middle part of Table 1 (also shown in Figure 4), we can observe the results obtained for the “phobic>dirty” contrast (inferior occipital lobe bilaterally, and the left superior, and middle frontal lobe); and in the lower part of Table 1 (also shown in Figure 5) are the results for the “dirty>clean” contrast (left superior occipital lobe, and right middle frontal gyrus, middle occipital gyrus and cingulate). In the table, apart from the anatomical area and brain hemisphere, the values for the location and T score of the maximum for each area, the size of the cluster activated in each area, and the P value used as threshold are shown.


A functional magnetic resonance imaging assessment of small animals' phobia using virtual reality as a stimulus.

Clemente M, Rey B, Rodriguez-Pujadas A, Breton-Lopez J, Barros-Loscertales A, Baños RM, Botella C, Alcañiz M, Avila C - JMIR Serious Games (2014)

Brain activations for the “dirty>clean” contrast.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4307824&req=5

figure5: Brain activations for the “dirty>clean” contrast.
Mentions: We selected the contrast “phobic>clean”, and looked for the main activated brain regions. We found activations in the left occipital inferior lobe and middle occipital gyrus bilaterally, among others (see “superior” part of Table 1, and Figure 3 also shows this activation). Brain regions that also displayed significant activations during the task were: (1) the cuneus bilaterally, (2) the superior frontal gyrus, and (3) the precuneus. In the middle part of Table 1 (also shown in Figure 4), we can observe the results obtained for the “phobic>dirty” contrast (inferior occipital lobe bilaterally, and the left superior, and middle frontal lobe); and in the lower part of Table 1 (also shown in Figure 5) are the results for the “dirty>clean” contrast (left superior occipital lobe, and right middle frontal gyrus, middle occipital gyrus and cingulate). In the table, apart from the anatomical area and brain hemisphere, the values for the location and T score of the maximum for each area, the size of the cluster activated in each area, and the P value used as threshold are shown.

Bottom Line: This context will have the added benefit of allowing the subject to move and interact with the environment, giving the subject the illusion of being there.We have found brain activation mainly in the left occipital inferior lobe (P<.05 corrected, cluster size=36), related to the enhanced visual attention to the phobic stimuli; and in the superior frontal gyrus (P<.005 uncorrected, cluster size=13), which is an area that has been previously related to the feeling of self-awareness.In our opinion, these results demonstrate that virtual stimulus can enhance brain activations consistent with previous studies with still images, but in an environment closer to the real situation the subject would face in their daily lives.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: LabHuman, I3BH, Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, Valencia, Spain. yavanna12@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT

Background: To date, still images or videos of real animals have been used in functional magnetic resonance imaging protocols to evaluate the brain activations associated with small animals' phobia.

Objective: The objective of our study was to evaluate the brain activations associated with small animals' phobia through the use of virtual environments. This context will have the added benefit of allowing the subject to move and interact with the environment, giving the subject the illusion of being there.

Methods: We have analyzed the brain activation in a group of phobic people while they navigated in a virtual environment that included the small animals that were the object of their phobia.

Results: We have found brain activation mainly in the left occipital inferior lobe (P<.05 corrected, cluster size=36), related to the enhanced visual attention to the phobic stimuli; and in the superior frontal gyrus (P<.005 uncorrected, cluster size=13), which is an area that has been previously related to the feeling of self-awareness.

Conclusions: In our opinion, these results demonstrate that virtual stimulus can enhance brain activations consistent with previous studies with still images, but in an environment closer to the real situation the subject would face in their daily lives.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus