JUL 17, 2019 10:23 AM PDT

Virtual Reality System Induces Pre-Sleep States

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

A new virtual reality (VR) system, known as PluginHUMAN, was created to induce pre-sleep states along with the general mental wellbeing. The system includes an interactive bed along with controlled ambient music and kaleidoscopic visuals.

"Technology and sleep are always talked about as incompatible," says PhD researcher with RMIT University's Exertion Games Lab, Natahan Semertzidis. "Our findings flip that notion upside down and show how technology can also aid rest and relaxation."

Analysis of the system included physiological and psychological data and information from user interviews. "Results demonstrated statistically significant decreases in pre-sleep cognitive arousal and negative emotion," Semertzidis says. "EEG readings were also indicative of restorative restfulness and a clear mind, while interview responses described experiences of mindfulness."

Participants in the research study reported a 21 percent decrease in general negative emotion and a 55 percent decrease in feelings of fear after using’ Inter-Dream’. Furthermore, an increase was found in the general positive emotions and feelings of serenity.

“Good sleep is acknowledged to be preceded by a characteristic set of specific cognitive and mood states, as well as physiological changes”, says Semertzidis. "Good sleepers are generally more relaxed and positive, while bad sleepers are more likely to focus on unpleasant and intrusive worries and stressors because of involuntary mental rehearsal of the past day's events. It makes sense that influencing these cognitive mood states can help us better ease into rest."

RMIT.EDU: Inter-Dream involves an interactive bed and ambient music controlled by the artists, and kaleidoscopic visuals controlled by the user with their own brainwaves, via EEG.

Participants were seen to not only passively relax but to creatively interact with the system. "Some of them reported really going on a journey by manipulating the system with their minds," says Semertzidis. "This is no trivial notion in the context of inducing positive pre-sleep states, as it has been well documented that creative expression is strongly associated with positive effects on emotion and affect."

Findings also suggested that cognitive states were consistent with those of mindfulness."Our findings are really significant in pointing a possible way forward using neurofeedback technology to facilitate restfulness and sleep onset," says co-author of the study and associate professor, Fabio Zambetta.

Watch the video below to learn more:

"The work really puts the human body centre stage, allowing us to see the human body not just as a mere input controller, but rather allowing people to experience their bodies as play," says Professor Florian 'Floyd' Mueller, who heads RMIT University's Exertion Games Lab. "For me, this is a beginning to facilitate a more playful future, in particular, one where we can even experience rest and ultimately sleep as a form of (digital) play: it would be fascinating to explore what such a future could look like and we are always looking for PhD candidates who want to explore this."

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
JUN 24, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
How to Enable Computers to Solve Increasingly Complex Problems? Make Them "Think" Like a Metal
JUN 24, 2020
How to Enable Computers to Solve Increasingly Complex Problems? Make Them "Think" Like a Metal
In metal works, the term annealing refers to a treatment with heat that increases the elasticity of a metal material. Si ...
JUN 21, 2020
Technology
Can Artificial Intelligence Guess Your Age?
JUN 21, 2020
Can Artificial Intelligence Guess Your Age?
Some of us are able to hide our age from each other but what if you can’t hide your age from artificial intelligen ...
JUL 20, 2020
Neuroscience
Phantom-Limb Pain Reduced by Brain-Computer Interface
JUL 20, 2020
Phantom-Limb Pain Reduced by Brain-Computer Interface
Phantom-limb pain is a condition in which amputees feel like their amputated limb is still attached to their bodies. Whi ...
JUL 05, 2020
Technology
Computational Model Predicts Speech
JUL 05, 2020
Computational Model Predicts Speech
Our brains analyze spoken language by predicting syllables. As such, this inspired researchers at the University of Gene ...
AUG 04, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Nanotechnology Makes Medicinal Cannabis More Effective
AUG 04, 2020
Nanotechnology Makes Medicinal Cannabis More Effective
It seems that cannabis can treat everything- from chronic pain to acne and maybe even cancer. But as cannabinoids are kn ...
NOV 17, 2020
Cardiology
Validating Blood Pressure Functionality in a New Smartwatch
NOV 17, 2020
Validating Blood Pressure Functionality in a New Smartwatch
One of the most exciting advancements in our time is wearable technology. While most see it as a cool piece of tech on y ...
Loading Comments...