Virtual Sophrologist: A Virtual Reality Neurofeedback Relaxation Training System

Guoxin Gu, Claude Frasson

Relaxation techniques can relieve us from stress, anxiety, pain and maladies. Many researchers succeed in relaxing subjects by various methods. However, few concerned about the ability of relaxation. Hence, the main goal of this study is to help people relax faster. We developed a virtual reality neurofeedback relaxation training system, called Virtual Sophrologist, which 1) immerses users in fantastic environments by a Virtual Reality headset, 2) guides users to follow the Sophrology instructions by a female voice, and 3) displays feedback in real time, which are translated from the Meditation Score collected by EEG. To evaluate this system, we recruited 6 subjects to participate in our 8-session relaxation training and collected their subjective data (by self-report) and objective data (by EEG) to measure from psychological level and to calculate the Time Interval to Relaxation that they took to reach the maximum Meditation Score. The results show 1) decreases in Anxiety and Depression Score from the psychological level, 2) a decrease in Time Interval to Relaxation and 3) an increase in the maximum Meditation Score. Therefore, our system will be useful as a training tool for users who need or want to relax fast and deep whenever they need.

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