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Merging Virtual Reality with Neurotechnology: Pioneering Neuroscience Applications
February 09, 2024.
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In the evolving landscape of neurotechnology, virtual reality (VR) is emerging as a transformative tool, blending seamlessly with advanced neurotechnological tools to push the boundaries of neuroscience applications. From the academic halls of Spain's Universitat de les Illes Balears to the innovative research teams in Portugal's Universidade de Aveiro, and reaching the cutting-edge developments from AppliedVR and Kernel in Los Angeles, VR is setting new frontiers in understanding and treating complex neurological conditions.


Universitat de les Illes Balears: Leading the Charge in VR and Neurotechnology

At the Universitat de les Illes Balears, the work led by Dr. Francisco J. Perales López, alongside his colleagues Dr. Pere Antoni Borras Rotger and Dr. Francisca Negre Bennasar, epitomizes the integration of VR with neurotechnology. This team has been instrumental in exploring the therapeutic applications of VR, particularly focusing on its potential to significantly improve conditions such as CP, autism, ADHD, and more. Using Naxon Labs' innovative tools, they've embarked on projects that apply technology to therapeutic subjects, demonstrating how VR and neurofeedback can be harnessed to create impactful therapeutic interventions.

One notable project involves the creation of immersive VR environments that facilitate emotional state modulation through visual and auditory stimuli. By employing Naxon Labs' platforms, such as the Naxon Explorer and the Emotions platform, the research team can precisely monitor and analyze brainwave data in real-time. This collaboration not only showcases the practical applications of combining VR with neurotechnology but also highlights Naxon Labs' role in advancing neuroscience research.

Iker López's development of a software application, which ingeniously integrates binaural waves and neurofeedback techniques, marks a pivotal advancement in mental health care support. By leveraging auditory stimuli configured to various brainwave frequencies and applying neurofeedback as a brain activity training technique, this project illuminates the pathway to modifying user mental activity effectively. The immersive nature of VR, coupled with the elimination of external distractions, offers a controlled and deeply engaging experience, promoting relaxation and heightened attention.

This project's success is further evidenced by its objective evaluation of mental states, enabled by the integration of non-invasive EEG devices like the Muse Band 2. This approach allows for real-time monitoring of brain activity changes throughout the VR sessions, providing tangible insights into the application's impact on users' emotional states. The collaboration between UIB and Naxon Labs, through this initiative, exemplifies the seamless fusion of academic research and practical application, driving forward the exploration of VR's capabilities in neurotechnology.

In addition to their groundbreaking work in VR and neurotechnology, Dr. Francisco J. Perales López has taken a significant step forward with the establishment of UJVIA (Unit for Video Games and Artificial Intelligence Innovation) at the Universitat de les Illes Balears. This initiative aims to foster innovation in the fields of video games and artificial intelligence, with a strong emphasis on their applications in various social and therapeutic contexts. Naxon Labs is proud to be an active member of UJVIA, collaborating closely with Dr. Perales and his team. This partnership underscores our commitment to exploring new frontiers in neurotechnology and expanding the impact of our work beyond traditional research settings, leveraging the power of video games and AI to create meaningful, real-world applications.


AppliedVR: A Glimpse into VR's Potential in Chronic Pain Management

In Los Angeles, AppliedVR's pioneering collaboration with Kernel Flow has cast a spotlight on virtual reality's transformative role in chronic pain management. Their clinical study, centered on individuals with chronic low back pain (CLBP), marks a significant advancement in medical research, illustrating that VR can elicit substantial changes in brain activity linked to pain relief. The partnership between AppliedVR and Kernel Flow merges VR's immersive therapeutic potential with state-of-the-art brain imaging, setting new directions for pain treatment.

The findings from this collaboration have been groundbreaking, showing not only a decrease in pain but also notable physiological changes such as reduced breathing rates among participants engaged in active VR treatment. This shift in brain activation coherence underlines VR's capability to do more than distract from pain—it fundamentally alters the brain's perception of it. Such insights are crucial for developing non-pharmacological approaches to pain management, highlighting VR's capacity to make meaningful interventions in chronic pain conditions.

The success of AppliedVR's study with Kernel Flow underscores the value of interdisciplinary efforts in pushing healthcare technology forward. By blending AppliedVR's VR therapy expertise with Kernel Flow's advanced neuroimaging, the project exemplifies the potential of integrating diverse technological and scientific domains. This collaborative approach not only opens up new avenues for treating chronic pain but also demonstrates how innovative technologies can tackle some of the most pressing challenges in healthcare.

As AppliedVR continues to navigate the frontiers of VR in medical applications, their ongoing research and development are poised to inspire additional studies, potentially bringing hope to millions affected by chronic pain worldwide. The implications of their work extend far beyond pain management, suggesting a future where VR and related technologies play a central role in various aspects of medicine and therapy.


Universidade de Aveiro: Enhancing Lives with VR and Neuroscience

In Portugal, the Universidade de Aveiro's groundbreaking research, led by Francisco Reis, Pedro Reisinho, and Rui Raposo, further exemplifies the synergy between VR and neurotechnology. Focused on addressing the challenges posed by dementia, their work leverages immersive VR experiences to stimulate oral communication competencies and assess potential improvements in psychological well-being among dementia patients. By integrating the Muse 2 headband with Naxon Labs' Emotions platform, they've crafted a multidisciplinary approach that combines interactive narratives, VR, and neurofeedback to guide interventions in real-time.

Universidade de Aveiro, under the guidance of researchers Francisco Reis, Pedro Reisinho, and Rui Raposo, is harnessing the power of VR to pioneer reminiscence therapy techniques for individuals with dementia. Reminiscence therapy, a therapeutic approach that involves recalling and discussing past experiences, is significantly enhanced through VR technology, offering immersive experiences that can evoke powerful memories and emotions. This method allows participants to virtually revisit familiar settings or relive past experiences, thereby facilitating a connection with memories that might otherwise be difficult to access due to the progression of dementia.

The collaboration with Naxon Labs enables the research team to employ immersive experiences effectively, stimulating memory recall and offering new hope for dementia therapy. By integrating VR into reminiscence therapy, the team at Aveiro is not only able to stimulate oral communication competencies but also to assess and potentially improve the psychological well-being of dementia patients. The application of Naxon Labs' tools, particularly in capturing and analyzing emotional responses during these VR sessions, further enriches the therapy by providing valuable insights into the emotional states of participants, enabling a tailored therapeutic approach.

This innovative research not only sheds light on the impact of reminiscence therapy but also pioneers the use of neurofeedback to enhance the lives of individuals grappling with dementia. This groundbreaking work by the Universidad de Aveiro represents a significant advancement in dementia care, illustrating the profound impact of combining traditional therapeutic techniques with modern VR technology.


The merging of VR with neurotechnology tools across various neuroscience applications is paving the way for groundbreaking developments in the field. Whether it's the therapeutic interventions explored by the Universitat de les Illes Balears, the chronic pain management studies by AppliedVR, or the dementia research conducted at the Universidad de Aveiro, each initiative highlights the immense potential of VR in advancing our understanding and treatment of neurological conditions. With the support of tools from Naxon Labs, researchers and clinicians are equipped to explore new horizons in neuroscience, offering hope and innovative solutions to those in need.