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surgical instruments, as closely as possible to their real models. However, there is another way of using VR in healthcare. Clinical psychologists

ages on a computer screen but are active participants within a computer-generated 3-D virtual world. Within the virtual experience the patient has the possibility of learning to manage a problematic situation related to his/her disturbance. The key characteristics of virtual environments for these professionals are both the high level of control of the interaction with the tool without the constraints usually found in computer systems, and the enriched experience provided to the patient.

“The first VR healthcare applications started in the early ‘90s to address medical staff’s need to visualize complex medical data.” and rehabilitation specialists use VR to provide a new human-computer interaction paradigm in which users are no longer simply external observers of im-

For both sides, a critical advantage is that virtual environments are highly flex-

ible and programmable. They enable the therapist to present a wide variety of controlled stimuli, and to measure and monitor a wide variety of responses made by the user. This flexibility can also be used to provide systematic experiential training to optimize the degree of transfer of training or generalization of learning to the person's real world environment.

[

Giuseppe Riva, Ph.D. Istituto Auxlogico Italiano Italy giuseppe.riva@unicatt.it auxo.psylab@auxologico.it

]

CyberTherapy & Rehabilitation, Issue 4 (4), Winter 2011.  

CyberTherapy & Rehabilitation Magazine (C&R), the official voice of the International Association of CyberPsychology, Training & Rehabilitat...

CyberTherapy & Rehabilitation, Issue 4 (4), Winter 2011.  

CyberTherapy & Rehabilitation Magazine (C&R), the official voice of the International Association of CyberPsychology, Training & Rehabilitat...

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