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May 10, 2006

VR-based schizophrenia training program

Via VRoot.org



Janssen Pharmaceutical, a manufacturer of prescription medications for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar mania, has developed a schizophrenia training program based on virtual reality technology.

In the program, the participant chooses a virtual experience and is led through a range of visual and auditory hallucinations during a ride on a bus, a trip to the doctor's office or a trip to a pharmacy located in the back of grocery store.

In the virtual program simulating a trip to the pharmacy, the participant hears voices popping in and out of their head. Some are soft, some loud -- even yelling -- and many of them are paranoid. People stare at you from every aisle, some seem to be able to read your mind, others are afraid of you. A person in a television monitor screams at you. As you get to the pharmacy counter you can hear the pharmacists whispering and laughing and then they hand you a prescription of what looks like "poison," with a big scull and cross bones on the bottle's label.

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