Training virtually can reduce psychosocial stress and anxiet
While sitting, 26 healthy young adults watched a virtual avatar running for 30 min from the first person perspective (experimental group), while another 26 participants watched the virtual body from the third person perspective (control group). We found a decreased salivary alpha-amylase concentration (a biomarker for the stress response) after the virtual training among the experimental group only, as well as a decreased subjective feeling of state anxiety (but no difference in heart rate). We argue that the virtual illusion of a moving body from the first person perspective can initiate a cascade of events, from the perception of the visual illusion to physiological activation that triggers other biological effects, such as the neuroendocrine stress response