Immersive composition for sensory rehabilitation: 3D visualisation, Surround sound, and synthesised music to provoke catharsis and healing
Argo J., Ma M., Kayser C.
There is a wide range of sensory therapies using sound, music and visual stimuli. Some focus on soothing or distracting stimuli such as natural sounds or classical music as analgesic, while other approaches emphasize the active performance of producing music as therapy. This paper proposes an immersive multi-sensory Exposure Therapy for people suffering from anxiety disorders, based on a rich, detailed surround-soundscape. This soundscape is composed to include the users’ own idiosyncratic anxiety triggers as a form of habituation, and to provoke psychological catharsis, as a non-verbal, visceral and enveloping exposure. To accurately pinpoint the most effective sounds and to optimally compose the soundscape we will monitor the participants’ physiological responses such as electroencephalography, respiration, electromyography, and heart rate during exposure. We hypothesize that such physiologically optimized sensory landscapes will aid the development of future immersive therapies for various psychological conditions, Sound is a major trigger of anxiety, and auditory hypersensitivity is an extremely problematic symptom. Exposure to stress-inducing sounds can free anxiety sufferers from entrenched avoidance behaviors, teaching physiological coping strategies and encouraging resolution of the psychological issues agitated by the sound.