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Augmented Reality


Augmented Reality (AR) implies the introduction of virtual elements in the real world. It involves 
computer-generated virtual objects, images, texts, etc., that can be superimposed or “included” 
in the real world. The user sees the “real” context and, at the same time, these virtual elements. 
In the field of psychological disorders, AR has shown enormous potential and usefulness. 
 
Our research group has designed and tested two AR applications for the treatment of two specific 
phobias: 

  • Small animal phobia (spiders and cockroaches)
  • Acrophobia (height)

The most important aspect of Augmented Reality is that the virtual element complements the 
real world with relevant virtual information for the treatment, offering a situation of controlled 
exposure. In this way, a person with fear of cockroaches and/or spiders will be able to learn to 
overcome the situations that he/she fears most with virtual animals, as the therapist controls the 
number of animals, their size and their movement, while the patient can interact with the virtual 
animals.
 
The reduction in cost produced by this technology, along with its potential for psychological 
treatments, means that there will be many future developments that will be able to greatly 
facilitate the application of treatments for diverse psychological disorders. 


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