Virtual reality games are often fun, immersive experiences. They take you out of your surroundings, dropping you into a completely different world. Sometimes, you’re just wandering around in what feels like a gorgeous dream land. Other times, you are fighting for survival with foes that seem a bit too real, if you’re into that kind of action. It’s a great source of entertainment for all ages. But now there’s research suggesting that virtual reality might be helpful for our brains.
This information, which we came across at DesignTaxi, comes from a study by researchers at the University of California. (Their findings are currently in nature neuroscience.) Basically, they discovered that our brains can be rewired through virtual reality. This could possibly help people who have Alzheimer’s. Our brains produce theta waves, which carry a lot of information to different areas of the brain. Theta waves are responsible for not only our creativity but also our memories and emotions.
These waves really come to life when we are doing something that takes us out of our normal brain realm. For example, when we do chill things like meditation or cool VR immersion, our theta waves go up. In the team’s experiment, they made a virtual reality setting for rats on a small runway with screens all around it. Then, the team also made an actual version of the virtual reality world to compare the real world to the VR.
They found that theta waves were stronger with the rats in the VR. Those test subjects had “eta waves,” which move slower than theta waves. Those eta waves mean there is a chance to learn and memorize more when these waves are active.
There is still much more work to be done; however, this could be great news for those who have different diagnosis related to memory loss. If virtual reality can help those people re-learn information, then they maybe able to regain some memories. It will be interesting to see what comes of this information in the future.