The design and development of neurofeedback training program through virtual reality for acrophobia treatment

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Puwadol Sirikongtham
Worapat Paireekreng


The purpose of this study is to design and develop a new classification training program (neurofeedback) and a technique for measuring anxiety With Virtual reality in people with specific phobia (acrophobia – fear of heights), and examine result of neurofeedback training by comparing pretest and posttest electroencephalographic (EEG) signal. The experiment is divided into two steps. The first step is sampling of people with anxiety score, according to Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale, between 45-80 points from the population of 90 persons aged between 18-22 years old. A Neurosky MindWave device is used to record EEG signal while being stimulated with height-related virtual reality. Delta, Theta Alpha, Beta and Gamma signals from the front lobe of the brain are recorded. The second step is training of the sampled group using the developed neurofeedback program ten times, for ten minutes each. Then, paired sample t-test is used to compare pretest and posttest EEG signal.

After the neurofeedback training to reduce anxiety, it is found that the Delta, Theta Alpha, Beta and Gamma EEG signals from the front lobe are reduced with statistical significance of 0.05 after being stimulated with height-related simulated environment. This exhibits benefit of neurofeedback training as able to reduce anxiety, and viability of virtual reality and neurofeedback technology as an alternative in future mental treatment.

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