Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Virtual food causes stress in patients affected by eating disorders

Date:
July 7, 2010
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
Food presented in a virtual reality environment causes the same emotional responses as real food. Researchers compared the responses of people with anorexia and bulimia, and a control group, to the virtual and real-life snacks, suggesting that virtual food can be used for the evaluation and treatment of eating disorders.

This is the VR environment used in the experiment.
Credit: Gorini et al., Annals of General Psychiatry

Food presented in a virtual reality (VR) environment causes the same emotional responses as real food. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Annals of General Psychiatry compared the responses of people with anorexia and bulimia, and a control group, to the virtual and real-life snacks, suggesting that virtual food can be used for the evaluation and treatment of eating disorders.

Alessandra Gorini from the Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Milan, Italy, worked with an international team of researchers to compare the effects of the exposure to real food, virtual food and photographs of food in a sample of patients affected by eating disorders. She said, "Though preliminary, our data show that virtual stimuli are as effective as real ones, and more effective than static pictures, in generating emotional responses in eating disorder patients."

The 10 anorexic, 10 bulimic and 10 control participants, all women, were initially shown a series of 6 real high-calorie foods placed on a table in front of them. Their heart rate and skin conductance, as well as their psychological stress were measured during the exposure. This process was then repeated with a slideshow of the same foods, and a VR trip into a computer-generated diner where they could interact with the virtual version of the same 6 items. The participants' level of stress was statistically identical whether in virtual reality or real exposure.

Speaking about the results, Gorini said, "Since real and virtual exposure elicit a comparable level of stress, higher than the one elicited by static pictures, we may eventually see VR being used to screen, evaluate, and treat the emotional reactions provoked by specific stimuli in patients affected by different psychological disorders."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alessandra Gorini, Eric Griez, Anna Petrova and Giuseppe Riva. Assessment of the emotional responses produced by exposure to real food, virtual food and photographs of food in patients affected by eating disorders. Annals of General Psychiatry, 2010; (in press) [link]

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Virtual food causes stress in patients affected by eating disorders." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100705073924.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2010, July 7). Virtual food causes stress in patients affected by eating disorders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100705073924.htm
BioMed Central. "Virtual food causes stress in patients affected by eating disorders." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100705073924.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Apple iPhone 6 Screen Hits Snag Ahead of Launch

Apple iPhone 6 Screen Hits Snag Ahead of Launch

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 22, 2014) Reuters has learned Apple is scrambling to get enough screens ready for the iPhone 6. Sources say it's unclear whether this could delay the launch. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apple's iMessage Really Being Overrun By Spammers?

Is Apple's iMessage Really Being Overrun By Spammers?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) A report says more than one third of all SMS spam over the past year came from a "single campaign" using iMessage and targeting iPhone users. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Families Can Now Ask Twitter To Remove Photos Of Deceased

Families Can Now Ask Twitter To Remove Photos Of Deceased

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) In the wake of a high-profile harassment case, Twitter says family members can ask for photos of dying or dead relatives to be taken down. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ballmer Leaves Microsoft's Board, Has Advice For Nadella

Ballmer Leaves Microsoft's Board, Has Advice For Nadella

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) In a letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Ballmer said he's leaving the board of directors and offered tips on how the company can be successful. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins