CREATIVE SPACES: Treating Isolation Distress and Social Anxiety Using Neuroscience Strategies in Virtual Reality

Project: Research

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Isolation, loneliness, and social anxiety are becoming major problems during periods when prolonged lockdown is necessary for public health and safety. To study the way human subjects are affected by prolonged isolation and design an intervention to ameliorate it, we propose a multidisciplinary strategy using creative technology, psychological testing, and neurosciencebased design methods and modeling connecting SCM, CLASS, CSCI and NS. We will create a virtual reality (VR) environment for prolonged daily exposure and measure cortisol and stress levels in subjects over a 3 week long period to measure the effect of social isolation exposures, then design social navigation strategies in VR to reduce these detected stress levels. We will prototype neuroscience-researched reward-based interventions in virtual environments to promote mental wellness during social isolation, using established cortisol and stress assays. The strategies and insights established here provide a basis for public-wide impact-bearing projects that can become products and services for ameliorating mental health.


Project number7020020
Grant typeSIRG
Effective start/end date30/06/21 → …