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Virtual Clinic to Treat Stresses of War

Healing Center Launched in Second Life

The popular virtual world Second Life is now home to a center that helps soldiers deal with the stresses of war, according to a report in the New York Times. "The healing center...has a big lodge, where people can spend time and talk with each other, anonymously if they prefer. They can sit around a fireplace, play games in the game room or relax on a deck next to a waterfall. They can climb a tower, where they will meet a historical warrior who tells them stories about his life. There are also real-world interactions in the virtual world. A… Read full post »

Treating Trauma with Virtual Reality

National Post Reports

Virtual reality is providing therapeutic benefits for patients suffering from phobias or post-traumatic stress, according to a report in the National Post. The story cites research in the US and Canadian efforts in the area: "The September 2009 edition of Monitor on Psychology, a publication of the American Psychological Association, cited an analysis of 22 studies that found significant declines in symptoms of anxiety following virtual reality therapy, including social phobia, agoraphobia and fear of flying. There is now a Canada Research Chair in Clinical Cyberpsychology - University of Ottawa psychology professor Stephane Bouchard- with a $6-million facility to study… Read full post »

Branding in the Age of Social Media

But Is Transparency at Odds with Regulation in Pharma Marketing?

Brands must move past promises and into fulfillment, must shift from control to transparency: but are these new values compatible with tightly regulated markets like healthcare? The Ronnestam Group of Sweden neatly summarizes many of the lessons for brands resulting from the growth of online communities and social media such as Twitter and Facebook. They propose, as others do, that social media is upending traditional notions of brand development, and highlight ten 'shifts in thinking', including moving from notions of customers to followers, from marketing to entertainment, or from structural bindings to trust. "What you’re looking at is a brand… Read full post »

The Physics of Learning Online

In a Real Time World, is Education Fractal?

Fractals give us a new way to think about learning. This proposal by Teemu Arina says that the Internet has introduced connections and real-time access to information and in so doing has created fractal networks of information: "As you approach a new topic, you start from a fuzzy idea of what it could be. As it comes into focus, new details expose themselves on the fringes, enabling you to discover even more interesting perspectives you were not aware beforehand.... When considering learning, we are pattern recognizers. Just like fractals, our neural networks evolve over time and extend outside of us.… Read full post »

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