Talk: VR for Physiological, Psychological and Social Well-Being

GET Lab coordinator, Dr. Despina Michael, as part of her evaluation for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor, is giving a talk on Virtual Reality for Physiological, Psychological and Social Well-Being.

The talk will take place on Monday, January 7 at 10:00 a.m. over video conference.

You can watch the speech via the following link:


With Virtual Reality (VR) technology becoming widely used and affordable even to home end-users, a key question for research around VR is: “How can VR be exploited to create a positive effect on humanity?”. In this talk I will present my recent work VR for Well-Being’, and I will elaborate on a series of VR studies targeting physiological, psychological and social well-being by exploiting the threeI’s of the `VR triangle’: immersion, interaction and imagination.

In terms of physiological well-being, the talk will focus on my work on fine motor movements, and our study on identifying a number of measurements that were taken automatically through our developed VR system, and are able to distinguish between stable and un-stable fine motor movements. Additional studies related to wrist and walking rehabilitation, targeting stroke patients, will also be briefly covered.

In terms of psychological well-being, the talk will cover my work on both psychological disorders and emotional well-being. Regarding the former, I will present our studies for the creation of awareness around Asperger’s syndrome and Major Depression Disorder by exploiting the imagination VR feature through narratives. Our results are demonstrating a correlation between VR place illusion and sensitization, and a correlation between emotional impact and knowledge retention. I will also briefly discuss my work on emotional well-being, through affective touch, aiming to support people in need.

In terms of social well-being, the talk will focus on my work related to social interaction within virtual environments, such as conformity and empathy, but also on educational VR simulations targeting cultural heritage and medical sciences literacies. For conformity, in particular, the talk will present a VR study starting by simulating the well-known Asch experiment within a virtual environment, and proceeding to show that a number of parameters, such as the level of behavioural realism of the virtual confederates, applied through eye-gazing manipulation, leverages the social presence of participants and lowers the confidence in their responses.

The talk will conclude with a summary of the potential of VR on well-being and my plans for future work.