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Virtual Reality Research Group

Projects at the Virtual Reality Research Group


Using Virtual Reality to improve the understanding of the mechanisms, which play a role in the onset and maintenance of psychosis


Kids VR

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Dr Lucia Vamaggia et al.  Our work aims to improve the understanding of the mechanisms, which play a role in the onset and maintenance of psychosis. We were the first to demonstrate that VR can have a positive effect on the appraisal and the expectations about social situations in young people who are at risk of developing psychosis.

Dr Charlotte Gayer-Anderson, Dr Lucia Valmaggia, Prof Craig Morgan. Pilot study that will use the Virtual Reality paradigm to explore the social environmental predictors of objectively measured paranoid ideation in a population based sample of adolescents. The project will capitalize on the already existing infrastructure of a major new ERC funded school-based cohort study - REACH (Risk, Resilience, Ethnicity and AdolesCent Mental Health) - which will establish cohorts of over 4000 adolescents aged 11-14 years across southeast London.

Blank space VR assisted assessment and VR assisted therapy for psychosis

VR lab logo

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Dr Lucia Valmaggia, Dr Mar Rus-Calafell, Prof Philippa Garety & Prof Tom Craig have developed a VR Pub environment for the assessment and treatment of psychosis.

Phase one: General population study to validate the new pub environment. This was completed in April 2016. 

Phase two: Use the new Pub Environment it in the assessment and treatment of service users with psychosis who become anxious or paranoid in social situations.

Blank space Using VR to study the effect of Cognitive Bias Modification for Paranoia

Dr Jenny Yiend, et al The study uses the VR café environment to assess the effect of cognitive bias modification on paranoid ideation in people with paranoid beliefs.

VR to explore the efficacy of new medical compounds: Cannabinoid studies

Dr Sagnik Bhattacharyya et al. This MRC funded study is using VR Bus environment to measure paranoid ideation in a virtual social environment in people with an at risk mental state for psychosis and in HC. Participants are given either an active compound or a placebo.  Recruitment completed December 2015.  

Dr Paul Morrison et al. Similar to the above study (also MRC funding) but using the café environment. Recruitment ongoing.

Eating disorders

Dr Vicky Mountford, Dr Kate Tchanturia, Dr Lucia Valmaggia.  Pilot study exploring using VR to study body image in women who were dieting due to body image concerns. The study was funded by BRC and was completed in 2015 and published:

Vicky Mountford, Kate Tchanturia, Lucia Valmaggia  (2015). "What Are You Thinking When You Look at Me?" A Pilot Study of the Use of Virtual Reality in Body Image. Cyberpsychology, behavior and social networking. Doi: 10.1089/cyber.2015.0169


Becci Strawbridge, Prof Robin Morris, Dr Lucia Valmaggia and Prof Allan Young are developing a VR spatial working memory test. The test is almost ready. The research team are planning to enhance the assessment of cognitive performance, with a particular focus on mood disorders.

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