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The IoPPN Virtual Reality Research Lab (VR Lab) is led by Dr Lucia Valmaggia and is a world-leading multidisciplinary group dedicated to VR based research, assessment and treatments for mental health.

Our work aims to improve the understanding of the mechanisms, which play a role in the onset and maintenance of mental health problems. We also develop and implement novel preventative interventions aimed at enhancing well-being and resilience, and we develop treatment packages for people with established mental health disorders.

We conduct studies in psychosis, eating disorders, depression, autism, epidemiology, prevention and early intervention.


Young People

Risk and Protective Factors for Unfounded Paranoid Ideation in Adolescents: A Virtual Reality Study (Gayer Anderson, Morgan, Valmaggia in collaboration with VirtualwareGroup)

The relationship between interpersonal sensitivity and paranoid symptoms in adolescence: a virtual reality study (Valmaggia, Gayer Anderson. DClinPsy student: Lecce)

Virtual Reality to promote physical activity in young people (Stubbs, Knowles, Valmaggia in collaboration with FixVR)

Children wearing virtual reality glasses


Virtual reality assisted CBT for social difficulties: a feasibility study in an early intervention for psychosis service (Valmaggia & Cella. DClinPsy student: Jameel)

Developing the Next Generation of Symptom Assessments Tools for Negative Symptoms in Psychosis (Cella, Di Pietro, Valmaggia. PhD student: Hansen)

V-Nest: Virtual Reality Supported Therapy for the Negative Symptoms of Psychosis (Cella, Di Pietro, Valmaggia in collaboration with VirtualwareGroup).

PICUP (Psychological Interventions Clinic for outpatients with Psychosis) An award winning service offering CBT and Family Interventions for people with distressing positive symptoms of psychosis, using 360 video for immersion therapy. (Byrne, Peters, Di Pietro, Valmaggia)



Measuring self-blame-related action tendencies and prediction of treatment response in major depressive disorder (Zahl, Di Pietro, Valmaggia. PhD Student: Duan)

Man on tube and girl on bus (old projects by the VRLab)


Virtual Reality Supported Therapy for Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Social Anxiety (Valmaggia, Di Pietro , Simonoff. PhD Student: Adams).


Inpatient Units

Relax-VR for people currently admitted to an inpatient unit (Riches, Valmaggia in collaboration with Wim Veling)



The relationship of interpersonal sensitivity with schizotypy and with state paranoid ideation in a sample of healthy individuals with low, moderate, and high positive schizotypy. (Valmaggia & Antonova, DClinPsy student: Massaro).

Using Mindfulness to Reduce Suspiciousness and Paranoia in Individuals with High Positive Schizotypy (Antonova, Chadwick, Valmaggia. PhD student: McDonald).

Waiting at a bus stop (VR Experience)

Staff and Carers Training

Stress reduction for staff members (Riches, Valmaggia in collaboration with Magic Horizons)

Discrimination in Health Services: developing strategies to address a tractable social determinant of health inequalities. (Hatch, Rimes, Valmaggia in collaboration with Empathetic Media)