Category: Addictive Behaviors
While the last couple of decades have seen advances in research and application of computer generated virtual reality (VR) environments for exposure therapy in general, and substance cue exposure in particular, immersive 360-degree video environments have been relatively understudied. Here we present a protocol for cue exposure therapy for nicotine dependence that utilized consumer video recording equipment to create realistic 360-degree video environments and VR headsets to immerse participants in the environment while behavioral and physiological indices of cigarette craving are measured. A case study is presented showing high reported craving that gradually reduced with repeated exposures. Skin conductance and heart rate also showed responses to the environment that gradually habituated. These tools are relatively inexpensive, require no more expertise than a regular video camera to operate, and allow for the creation of videos that require no advanced expertise to edit, transfer, and display on cell phones mounted on VR headsets, allowing for efficient creation of idiographic environments suitable for personalized exposures across a wide range of disorders. A demonstration of these 360 video environments will be available at the poster session.