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Effects of Exercise in Immersive Virtual Environments on Cortical Neural Oscillations and Mental State

  • Virtual reality environments are increasingly being used to encourage individuals to exercise more regularly, including as part of treatment in those with mental health or neurological disorders. The success of virtual environments likely depends on whether a sense of presence can be established, where participants become fully immersed in the virtual environment. Exposure to virtual environments is associated with physiological responses, including cortical activation changes. Whether the addition of a real exercise within a virtual environment alters sense of presence perception, or the accompanying physiological changes, is not known. In a randomized and controlled study design, trials of moderate-intensity exercise (i.e. self-paced cycling) and no-exercise (i.e. automatic propulsion) were performed within three levels of virtual environment exposure. Each trial was 5-min in duration and was followed by post-trial assessments of heart rate, perceived sense of presence, EEG, and mental state. Changes in psychological strain and physical state were generally mirrored by neural activation patterns. Furthermore these change indicated that exercise augments the demands of virtual environment exposures and this likely contributed to an enhanced sense of presence.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Tobias Vogt, Rainer Herpers, Christopher D. Askew, David Scherfgen, Heiko K. Strüder, Stefan Schneider
Parent Title (English):Neural Plasticity
Article Number:523250
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg
Date of first publication:2015/08/20
Copyright:Copyright © 2015 Tobias Vogt et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License.
Funding Information:Research grants from the German Sport University Cologne (HIFF920080) and the Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung (FP307) supported this study.
Departments, institutes and facilities:Fachbereich Informatik
Institute of Visual Computing (IVC)
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):0 Informatik, Informationswissenschaft, allgemeine Werke / 00 Informatik, Wissen, Systeme / 004 Datenverarbeitung; Informatik
Entry in this database:2015/08/21
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 3.0