Tuesday June 18, 2019

Virtual Reality can reduce phantom pain felt by paralysed people

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Paralysed Human
Virtual Reality can reduce phantom pain felt by paralysed people

London, Oct 31’2017: Scientists have shown that virtual reality (VR) can help reduce phantom body pain in paraplegics and and create the illusion that they can feel their paralysed legs being touched again.

“We managed to provoke an illusion: the illusion that the subject’s legs were being lightly tapped, when in fact the subject was actually being tapped on the back, above the spinal cord lesion,” said lead author of the study Olaf Blanke from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland.

“When we did this, the subjects also reported that their pain had diminished,” Blanke added.

The results published in the journal Neurology could one day translate into therapies to reduce chronic pain in paraplegics.

Paraplegia is often accompanied by neuropathic pain due to the spinal cord lesion.

The patient feels pain originating from the legs, even though nothing else can be felt below the lesion.

The sensation of pain is real and yet completely resistant to drug therapy.

The new research shows that virtual reality may be the key to providing relief for this type of pain, and the solution comes from restoring a sense of touch.

“We tapped the back of the subject near the shoulders and the subject experienced the illusion that the tapping originated from the paralysed legs,” said Polona Pozeg, co-author of the study and now a neuroscientist at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) in Switzerland.

“This is because the subject also received visual stimuli of dummy legs being tapped, viewed through the virtual reality headset, so the subject saw them immersively as his or her own legs,” Pozeg added.(IANS)

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Circus Maximus Experience Offers Visitors to Relive Imperial Period of Rome through Virtual Reality

Visitors immerse themselves in history for with overlapping images from the past and those of the reality of today

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The Circus Maximus Experience, opened in Rome this week and offers visitors the chance to relive the ancient splendors of chariot racing in the Imperial period of Rome through augmented and virtual reality. The innovative project implements interactive display technologies never before used in such a large outdoor area.

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Rome’s Circus Maximus, reconstructed as it appeared in ancient times. VOA

“Now you find yourself in front of the Arch of Titus, which was possibly built in the place of a more ancient arch and dedicated in the year 81 After Christ by the Roman Senate and people to Emperor Flavius”.

This is just an example of what modern-day visitors will be listening to in their headsets, while at the same time through special visors see a virtual rendering of the majestic 20-meter Arch of Titus in Rome’s Circus Maximus.

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A visitor of Rome’s Circus Maximus is seen with a virtual reality visor. VOA

Thanks to a ground-breaking project using interactive display technology never before used in such an extended outdoor area, visitors are able to re-live the life in one of Rome’s undisputed landmarks.

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Rome’s Circus Maximus, reconstructed with its tiered seating arena. VOA

Visitors immerse themselves in history for with overlapping images from the past and those of the reality of today. They are able to visualize architectural and landscape reconstructions of what life was like during all of the historical stages of the Circus Maximus.

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Another view of Rome’s Circus Maximus reconstructed, with its tiered seating arena. VOA

They can see the ancient Murcia Valley enriched with buildings and walk around in the Circus among the shops of the time. They can visualize the Circus during Imperial times, the Middle Ages and in a more modern age.

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Rome’s Circus Maximus reconstructed, showing the opposite end of the arena. VOA

The full itinerary involves eight stops including: the valley and the origins of the Circus, the Circus from Julius Caesar to Trajan, the Circus during the Imperial age, the cavea or tiered seating arena, the Arch of Titus, the tabernae or shops, the Circus during the Middle Ages and modern age, and lastly “A Day at the Circus” for an experience of the exciting chariot race of the quadrigas with the screams of incitement of the public and the overturning of wagons.

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Visitors are able to enjoy similar experiences in Rome at the Baths of Caracalla, the Ara Pacis and the Domus Aurea. (VOA)