The article “Effectiveness of Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy for Active Duty Soldiers in a Military Mental Health Clinic” written by Reger et al. suggests that virtual reality exposure therapy (VRE) is an effective tool for treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (2011). It provides an account of a retrospective study that explores the connection between VRE treatment and its effect on PTSD symptoms in soldiers who received seven sessions on average. The research findings show that even the soldiers who have been previously exposed to other forms of therapy report a significant reduction of combat-related PTSD symptoms (Reger et al., 2011). It can be argued that the study is inconclusive because the consistency in the number of sessions was missing making it impossible to establish dose-response relationships (Reger et al., 2011). Nonetheless, taking into consideration the promising results of the study, it can be argued that randomized clinical trials could prove the positive clinical outcomes of VRE treatment for PTSD. However, future tests are needed to establish the degree to which VRE is more or less effective in comparison to other treatments (Reger et al., 2011).
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The authors of the lecture titled “Practice of Virtual Reality Case Teaching Using in the Military Training Based on Virtools” argue that case teaching effect of military theory can be utilized in military academies (Long & Dhillon, 2014). They claim that such practice will help to employ numerous 3D models and alternant engines thus lessening the effects of training resistance. Moreover, it will make the teaching of military tactics more efficient by “replacing real scene with virtual environment” (Long & Dhillon, 2014). Military fighting, commanding exercise and equipment security drills are some of the possible applications for virtual reality case teaching in military (Long & Dhillon, 2014). The authors of the lecture claim that such approach to teaching is more effective than a conventional one. It provides a significant stimulus to sensory organs thus making a learning process more engaging for students. The goal of learning is being achieved through the application of addictive multi-variable nodes of virtual play that compel learners to engage in the studying process on the multidimensional level (Long & Dhillon, 2014). It can be argued that VR teaching method is characterized by the subjectivity of student experience. However, it is possible to reduce this effect by application of other military training methods and practices. It can be concluded that the lecture provides ample justification for the use of virtual reality in the military.
The chapter “Military VR Applications” in the book Virtual Reality Technology written by Burdea and Coiffet in 2008 describes the importance of the use of VR technology in the increasingly complex world of military hardware. The authors argue that considering that simulator training needs to be easily upgradable because of the short lifespan of various equipment, VR provides a flexible solution for education programs of numerous military branches. The chapter provides an overview of the possible applications of VR in the Army, the Navy and the Air Force (Burdea & Coiffet, 2008). The US Army could use VR training for single soldier simulators as well as platoon-level leadership training (Burdea & Coiffet, 2008). The US Navy could significantly improve their education programs aimed at improving operator performance with the use of VR technology. Training scenarios created with the help of VR simulators could help to enhance cognitive and perceptual skills of officers that need to navigate surfaced submarines (Burdea & Coiffet, 2008). The use of VR by the US Air Force significantly reduces the costs of aircraft flying simulators. Moreover, VR technology is easily transportable and upgradable therefore its use for pilots has numerous positive practical implications. It can be said, that the chapter provides a comprehensive account of the use of VR technology in the military.
The article “Stereoscopic-3D Vision to Improve Situational Awareness in Military Operations” published in the Proceedings of the First International AVR Conference, argues that use of Sterescopic-3D Vision could lead to the increase of the situational awareness in battlespaces (De Paolis & Mongelli, 2014). The authors claim that operators performing Network Centric Operations are opened to the negative influence of information overload that might result in the reduction of their decision-making capacities which, in turn, might cause disastrous consequences for a military operation. The article presents a case of military personnel using LOKI and the Command and Control system for Electronic Warfare (De Paolis & Mongelli, 2014). It argues that numerous elements of performance such as completion time, a number of errors, sense of presence and depth impression could be enhanced by S3D visualization (De Paolis & Mongelli, 2014). The authors conclude that VR technology could offer a unique user interface that significantly enhances an operator’s performance and viewing comfort (De Paolis & Mongelli, 2014).
Burdea, G., & Coiffet, P. (2008). Virtual reality technology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Interscience.
De Paolis, L.T., & Mongelli, A. (Eds). (2014). Proceedings of the First International Conference, AVR: Augmented and Virtual Reality, New York, NY: Springer.
Long, S., & Dhillon B.S. (Eds.). (2014). Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Man-Machine-Environment System Engineering: Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer-Verlag.
Reger, G., Holloway, K., Candy, C., Rothbaum, B., Difede, J., Rizzo, A.,…Gahm, G. (2011). Effectiveness of virtual reality exposure therapy for active duty soldiers in a military mental health clinic. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 24(1), 93-96.