phat 18: e10

Research Article

An interactive VR platform with emotion recognition for self-attachment intervention

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  • @ARTICLE{10.4108/eai.14-9-2021.170951,
        author={Neophytos Polydorou and Abbas Edalat},
        title={An interactive VR platform with emotion recognition for self-attachment intervention},
        journal={EAI Endorsed Transactions on Pervasive Health and Technology: Online First},
        volume={},
        number={},
        publisher={EAI},
        journal_a={PHAT},
        year={2021},
        month={9},
        keywords={Secure attachment, Self-administrable intervention, Affect regulation, Virtual agent, Positive emotion change},
        doi={10.4108/eai.14-9-2021.170951}
    }
    
  • Neophytos Polydorou
    Abbas Edalat
    Year: 2021
    An interactive VR platform with emotion recognition for self-attachment intervention
    PHAT
    EAI
    DOI: 10.4108/eai.14-9-2021.170951
Neophytos Polydorou1,*, Abbas Edalat1
  • 1: Department of Computing, Imperial College London, SW7 2AZ, UK
*Contact email: neophytos.polydorou19@imperial.ac.uk

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Self-attachment is a new self-administrable psychotherapeutic intervention based on creating an affectional bond between the user and their childhood-self using their childhood photos to develop the capacity for affect self-regulation. Technological advances, such as virtual reality (VR), can enhance the procedure of this intervention and make it scalable.

METHODS: We have developed a user-friendly, interactive VR platform for self-attachment featuring a virtual assistant and a customised child avatar that resembles the user in their childhood. The virtual agent interacts with the user and using an emotion recognition algorithm can provide suggestions for the user to undertake an appropriate self-attachment sub-protocol. Furthermore, the platform allows user interaction with the child avatar, such as embracing the avatar.

RESULTS: We show by a small preliminary trial that such a VR experience can be realistic, leading to a positive emotion change in the user.