Biofeedback in Virtual RealityPublished on 01.07.2021

Training the Perception of Bodily Signals

In eating disorders, the perception of one's bodily signals (such as heartbeat, stomach activity or breathing) seems to be altered. The perception of stomach signals seems to play a particularly important role in the perception and regulation of eating-specific signals such as hunger, satiety and fullness.

Training the perception and regulation of gastric signals is therefore a promising new approach in the treatment of eating disorders. In this project, stomach activity will be visualized in virtual reality to increase its perception. In a second step, participants will learn to modulate their stomach activity through biofeedback.

The project will develop this new method, evaluate it, and test whether it is associated with a reduction in eating disorder symptoms and related issues. Thus, our work could result in a valuable new tool to improve the lives of people suffering from eating disorders.

The project is conducted at the University of Fribourg (M.Sc. Aline Tiemann, Prof. Dr. Simone Munsch, Dr. Marius Rubo) in collaboration with the University of Luxembourg (Dr. Zoé van Dyck) and the University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland, Human Tech Institute (Prof. Dr. Elena Mugellini) and funded by the Swiss Anorexia Nervosa Foundation.

Picture: Ievgen Chepil / Alamy Stock Vector