“How can we understand that the various impressions of perception come together to form more or less meaningful entities (“shapes”)?” – Herbert Fitzek
Stress is an omnipresent term nowadays and describes the physical and psychological reaction to a situation that is perceived as being unmanageable. One method of reducing stress is the feedback of physical processes (so-called biofeedback). The development of visual neuro- and biofeedback methods has great potential for use in accompanying therapy and in non-medical areas. One of the future research focuses is the use of VR.
Sensus is the prototype of a virtual neurofeedback method and an approach for its visual and conceptual implementation in relation to stress and stress management.
It is known that skin conductivity, breathing, pulse and brain waves can give information about the current stress sensation. Due to the previous examination of the indicators pulse and respiration, the focus of this work is on neurofeedback through the EEG.
Initially, simple experiments were conducted to determine which functions are successful with the EEG headset and how the interaction finally takes place in virtual space. Eight different formal changes, starting from a sphere, could be controlled by specific concentration or meditation. The experiments showed that the sphere could be controlled more easily and specifically by means of concentration than by meditation. Due to this and considering the alpha-beta training method, concentration finally functions as interaction and reward in the created VR worlds.
In their abstraction and design, each individual virtuality deals with its own subjective metaphor of stress management.
Each virtuality is accompanied by its own soundscape. The alienated natural tones are selected according to conventional connotations to the formal nature of the worlds.
The EEG data and finally the effect of the VR application on the user can be made visible through a dashboard. However, the interpretation and evaluation of the data will not be dealt with in this thesis.
The virtual world has an immersive and emotional focus of experience and the dashboard provides informative enlightenment.
This work does not claim to be used in therapy, which is why it has only been tested on a few subjects. It is based on the neurological and psychological basics of the topic. However, the focus is on the attempt to translate a neurofeedback exercise into virtual reality and is a prototype for the implementation of such a methodology.
Tools: Unity, C#, Mindwave Mobile2, LogicProX, Processing