CyberTherapy 2007

CyberTherapy 2007

Transforming Healthcare Through Technology
Washington D.C.

Conference Information:

Conference Organizers | Awards | Workshops |

Conference Schedule | PowerPoint Presentations |



Conference Organizers:

The 12th Annual CyberTherapy 2007 Conference: Transforming Healthcare Through Technology is organized by the Interactive Media Institute (IMI).

The Interactive Media Institute (IMI) is a 501c3 non-profit organization working to further the application of advanced technologies for patient care. IMI sponsors national and international workshops, meetings, and continuing education courses. The Institute is also active in conducting research and clinical trials, and specializes in virtual reality, telehealth, videogame virtual reality, and human-computer interaction research. IMI is actively working with world leaders who are experts in utilizing virtual reality, multimedia, computer-generated avatars, personal robots and other technologies to treat patients with both mental and physical disorders. IMI promotes education for healthcare providers, students, interns, and other trainees in the healthcare field. In addition, researchers at the Institute collaborate with experts in technical areas such as computer hardware, software, and graphics; biomedical engineering; communication engineering; and others. It also serves as a source of information, training, and assistance for professionals. IMI’s educational programs seek to offer assistance to those individuals who would benefit from virtual reality and multimedia technical solutions and encourages businesses to develop expanded multimedia solutions to assist a larger segment of the general public in solving a broader range of issues through the use of advanced technologies. If you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation, please contact us.

The conference is also supported by the following organizations:

  • Army Research Office (USA)
  • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Defense Science Office (DARPA/DSO)
  • Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea
  • Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Italy
  • Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • Office of Naval Research
  • The Virtual Reality Medical Center
  • Université du Québec en Outaouais, Canada
  • VEPSY Updated Research Project


4th CRC-Clinical Cyberpsychology New Investigator Award for a presentation of outstanding research quality

The aim of the New Investigator Award is to reward the presentation of strong methodological studies at the Cybertherapy conference. The recipient must be a researcher who is new to the field of cyberpsychology. The award is open to both oral or poster presentations and to researchers from all countries and disciplines, and is delivered by Stéphane Bouchard, Chairholder of the Canada Research Chair in Clinical Cyberpsychology. It includes a certificate and a check of $1,000.

The 2007 CRC Award winner is:
– Jinsun Hahm, PhD Cand., Chung-Ang University (Republic of Korea)

Past honorees include:
2006: Daniela Villani, PhD Cand, Istituto Auxologico Italiano (Italy)
2005: Sophie Côté, PhD Cand., University of Ottawa & Cyberpsychology Lab of the UQO (Canada)
2004: Patrick Bordnick, PhD Cand., University of Georgia (USA)

1st Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./CyberPsychology and Behavior Outstanding Student Poster Award

The Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. (MAL), the publishers of the leading journal CyberPsychology and Behavior, awarded $750 to honor the accomplishments of one student poster presenter. Eligible posters are judged on rigor of the research, quality of presentation, and progress in the field of cyberpsychology. Posters are judged for scientifi merit and ease of presentation by the conference chairs, scientific chairs, and workshop chair. Eligibility: This award is restricted to a recipient who has not yet completed a PhD program.

The 2007 Mary Ann Liebert Award winner is:
– Kwanguk Kim, PhD Cand, Hanyang University (Korea)

Student Poster Awards

The 2007’s conference awarded three Student Poster Awards, each worth 250 $ US. Eligibility: Only individuals who have not yet completed a PhD program are eligible for one of the three $250 Student Poster Awards.

The 2007 Student Poster Award winners are (in alphabetical order):
– Solveyg Anders, University Hospital RWTH Aachen (Germany)
– Elena Gatti, PhD Cand., Catholic University of Sacred Heart (Italy)
– Alexandra Grassi, PhD Cand., Catholic University of Sacred Heart (Italy)

Past winners include:

2006 (in alphabetical order):
– Andrea Gaggioli, PhD Cand, Istituto Auxologico Italiano (Italy)
– Kwanguk Kim, PhD Cand, Hanyang University (Korea)
– Francesca Morganti, PhD Cand, Istituto Auxologico Italiano (Italy)

2005 (in alphabetical order):
– Belinda Lange, PhD Cand, University of South Australia (Australia)
– Alessandra Preziosa, PhD Cand, Istituto Auxologico Italiano (Italy)
– Julie St-Jacques, PhD Cand, Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada)

3rd Annual CyberTherapy Excellence in Research Award

To celebrate more than a decade of exciting advances in cybertherapy as well as the growth of the CyberTherapy conference itself, we are proud to announce the 3rd Annual CyberTherapy Excellence in Research Award. This Award has a tradition of honoring a person who has demonstrated outstanding achievements in the fields of virtual reality and behavioral healthcare. All members of the program committee are invited to nominate one of their colleagues as the recipient of an award that promises to honor a long line of esteemed researchers.

The 2007 CyberTherapy Excellence Award winner is:
– Giuseppe Riva, PhD, Istituto Auxologico Italiano (Italy)

Past winners include:
2006: Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego (USA)
2005: Stéphane Bouchard, PhD, Université du Québec en Outaouais (Canada)


Pre-Conference Workshops

Workshop Chair: Sun I. Kim, PhD
MONDAY, June 11, 2007

WS #1: Basic Issues about Virtual Reality and its Clinical Applications
Stéphane Bouchard, PhD & Evelyne Klinger, Eng, PhD

Aim: This introduction workshop presents on the one hand concepts that are essentials to understand if one is interested in using virtual reality in clinical applications, such as: what is virtual reality, what kind of equipment is involved, what is the feeling of presence, what is cybersickness and how to prevent it, how to get or create virtual environments, etc. Practical guidelines will be offered to conduct safer virtual immersions. It is highly recommended for people who are new to the field of virtual reality. These information will not be introduced in the more advanced workshops presented during the afternoon. On the other hand, participants to this introduction workshop will be able to try and test some VR interfaces such as HMD.

WS #2: Bridging Basic Pain Research, Conventional Pain Treatments and VR Pain Treatments
David A. Thomas, PhD, Jeffrey I. Gold, PhD and Robert Caudle, PhD

Aims: Virtual reality (VR) has gained recognition as a means of attenuating pain during medical procedures. However, there have been only a handful of investigations into the neurobiological mechanisms associated with VR’s efficacy. In this workshop, the neurobiology and psychophysiology of pain will be overviewed, including the mechanisms of action of conventional pain treatments. An overview of our understanding of the efficacy of VR at reducing pain will also be given. Then, participants will integrate these two fields by drawing parallels between the underlying mechanisms of conventional pain treatments and those supposed to underlie VR-based pain treatments.

WS #3: VR and Neurological Assessment/Rehabilitation & Neuroscience
Robert Astur, PhD & Albert “Skip” Rizzo, PhD

Aim: Neuropsychological assessment often suffers from problems with ecological validity where tests being used rarely predict performance in real-life situations. By reproducing physical reality in a standard and replicable fashion, virtual reality can be used to assess neuropsychological disorders in ways that are potentially more systematic and precise. In addition to measuring behavior, it also is experimentally of interest to measure nervous system function more directly. To that end, we have successfully used VR to measure brain responses during functional magnetic resonance imaging, as well as to measure cardiac (ECG) and arousal measure (i.e.galvanic skin responses) while participants are engaged in VR cognitive tasks. The presenters will provide an overview of the field of neuropsychological assessment and cognitive rehabilitation VR applications, and detail their strengths and limitations. They will also discuss both the hardware and software issues involved in collecting simultaneous central and peripheral nervous system measures during VR neuropsychological assessment.

WS #4: VR and the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders
Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA & Stéphane Bouchard, PhD

Aim: The key therapeutic ingredient in the treatment of anxiety disorders is referred to as exposure. Exposure consists essentially in having the patient face the fear situation. Exposure has been integrated in more sophisticated treatment packages that are now considered among the few really effective treatments available for mental disorders such as specific phobias, social anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and panic disorder with agoraphobia. Empirical studies conducted by researchers around the world are showing more and more convincingly that virtual reality can be used to successfully conduct exposure. In addition to reviewing the literature on this form of therapy, treatment packages will be presented and tips to conduct effective exposure will be provided. A basic knowledge of anxiety disorders treatment is assumed for participants of this advanced workshop.

WS #5: VR and the Treatment of Eating Disorders, Obesity and Addiction
Giuseppe Riva, PhD (Eating Disorders)
Sun I. Kim, PhD & Patrick Bordnick, PhD (Addiction)

Aim (Eating Disorders): VR has a clinical potential in the treatment of eating disorders and body-image problems. The experiential approach of VR allows the therapist to immerse the patient in virtual environments where her body-image can be confronted and more adaptive eating behavior can be practiced. To detail this approach, will be described, followed by the presentation of two different treatment protocols.

Aim (Addiction): In the last 5 years research using virtual reality to study alcohol and drug addiction has begun to emerge with greater frequency. Initial studies have demonstrated the feasibility of VR for assessing craving and reactivity to drug cues/triggers. At present, VR tools and environments have been developed for the treatment of drug dependence, and are now being tested in controlled trials. Experts in VR and addictions will present an overview of addictions covering theories and applications of VR in nicotine, marijuana, alcohol, methamphetamine, and cocaine dependence. Workshop participants will gain an in-depth understanding of cue reactivity assessment and treatment of substance dependence using the latest VR environments. Future research directions and opportunities for funding and collaborations will be addressed.

WS #6: VR and Motor Rehabilitation
Tamar Weiss, PhD

Aim: Physical and occupational therapists aim to enhance the functional ability of individuals with motor impairment as well as their capacity to participate in daily life activities. For many injuries and disabilities, the rehabilitation process is long and arduous, and therapists face the challenge of finding effective and motivating intervention tools that will facilitate this process. Virtual Reality-based rehabilitation appears to provide an answer to this challenge via its well-known assets including the opportunity for interactive learning, the ability to quantify clinical outcome measures and to provide safe and ecologically-valid environments. Virtual reality facilitates the provision of functional tasks that may be graded to meet specific therapeutic objectives and client capabilities. Although the advantages of Virtual Reality are becoming more widely recognized within the clinical community, the rehabilitation team faces a daunting challenge – to find a VR system that enables achievement of the goals stated above, is feasible to implement within a clinical setting and yet is affordable by the typical clinical facility. Moreover, it is desirable that the VR system will not excessively encumber the clients nor expose them to disturbing side effects. The objective of this workshop is to present the principles of VR-based therapy for motor rehabilitation in terms of a comparison to the achievement of therapeutic objectives via conventional intervention. Experimental results from the literature will be used to support the clinical applications of VR.

Conference Schedule

Click here

PowerPoint Presentations (in .pdf format)


TUESDAY, June 12th, 2007

Symposium 1 : Cybersickness


Symposium 2 : Pain

Hoffman (not available)
Mosso-Vasquez (not available)
Wiederhold (not available)

Symposium 3 : Anxiety Disorders

Mühlberger (not available)
Kim (not available)

Symposium 4 : Education

Kwon (not available)

Symposium 5 : Training

Tarnanas (not available)
Horn (not available)
Liu (not available)
Johnston (not available)

Symposium 6 : Addictions

Girard (not available)
Astur (not available)
Kwak (not available)
Copp (not available)
Rosenthal (not available)


WEDNESDAY, June 13th, 2007

Symposium 7 : Physical Rehabilitation

Feintuch (not available)
Park (not available)
Yeh (not available)

Symposium 8 : Clinical Applications

Juan (not available)
Brundage (not available)

Symposium 9 : Physiological Control of Environments and Objects

Reddy (not available)

Symposium 10 : Presence

Banos (not available)
Belloni (not available)

Symposium 11 : Telehealth

Gaggioli (not available)
Lendyak (not available)
Lefort (not available)
Lozano (not available)

Symposium 12 : Neuropsychology

Jang (not available)
Lee (not available)
Beck (not available)
Han (not available)
Parent (not available)

Symposium 13: Neuropsychology 2

Lange (not available)
Heber (not available)
Anders (not available)

Panel Discussion

Edgerton et al. (not available)

THURSDAY, June 14th, 2007

Symposium 14: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Gamito (not available)
Saraiva (not available)
Cosic (not available)
Rizzo (not available)
Reeves (not available)
Miyahira (not available)