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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 862942, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/862942
Review Article

Augmented Reality: A Brand New Challenge for the Assessment and Treatment of Psychological Disorders

1Applied Technology for Neuro-Psychology Lab, IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano, 20145 Milan, Italy
2Department of Psychology, Catholic University of Milan, 20123 Milan, Italy

Received 12 December 2014; Accepted 3 February 2015

Academic Editor: Yuri Ostrovsky

Copyright © 2015 Irene Alice Chicchi Giglioli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Augmented Reality is a new technological system that allows introducing virtual contents in the real world in order to run in the same representation and, in real time, enhancing the user’s sensory perception of reality. From another point of view, Augmented Reality can be defined as a set of techniques and tools that add information to the physical reality. To date, Augmented Reality has been used in many fields, such as medicine, entertainment, maintenance, architecture, education, and cognitive and motor rehabilitation but very few studies and applications of AR exist in clinical psychology. In the treatment of psychological disorders, Augmented Reality has given preliminary evidence to be a useful tool due to its adaptability to the patient needs and therapeutic purposes and interactivity. Another relevant factor is the quality of the user’s experience in the Augmented Reality system determined from emotional engagement and sense of presence. This experience could increase the AR ecological validity in the treatment of psychological disorders. This paper reviews the recent studies on the use of Augmented Reality in the evaluation and treatment of psychological disorders, focusing on current uses of this technology and on the specific features that delineate Augmented Reality a new technique useful for psychology.