Scientific Reports Publishes Data Demonstrating VR Platform Produces Peak Experiences, Ego Attenuation & Connectedness Comparable to Moderate Dose Psychedelics

San Rafael, CA May 30, 2022 –(PR.com)– aNUma, Inc. (“aNUma”), a digital therapeutics company building virtual reality programs to address the global mental health crisis, today, announced that Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group) has published research demonstrating technology like that behind aNUma’s VR platform can deliver peak experiences, ego attenuation, and connectedness comparable to psychedelics. This study, written by Dr. David Glowacki and colleagues, is the first of its kind to be published in a leading peer-reviewed journal demonstrating that some of the benefits of psychedelics can be obtained in VR without the use of drugs.

The article, “Group VR experiences can produce ego attenuation and connectedness comparable to psychedelics,” describes research involving 58 participants who joined the experiences as part of a remote, citizen science experiment. Connecting from VR “nodes” located across the US, the UK, and Europe, participants met virtually in groups of 3-6 participants for a 50-60-minute virtual journey, called, Isness, that involved movement, meditation, music, and guided reflection. Following the VR journey, participants complete 4 validated self-report scales. Results were compared to those seen in previously published studies of psychedelics that used the same measures. The scales included measures of community belongingness (Inclusion of Community in Self Scale and Communitas Scale), ego diminishment (Ego Dissolution Inventory), and peak experience (MEQ-30 Mystical Experience Questionnaire). Scores from this study were statistically indistinguishable from recently published studies using moderate doses of psychedelics. Participants in the Isness experiences reported feeling closer to other participants, feeling a diminished sense of ego, and having peak experiences as measured by the MEQ during their VR journeys.

This research indicates that some of the benefits of psychedelics may be achievable without drugs, using cutting-edge virtual reality technology. “We’re very excited about the possibilities of this technology for allowing people to have peak experiences and dissolve their sense of self without drugs,” said Dr. Glowacki, lead author and Researcher at the Centro Singular de Investigacíon en Technoloxías Intelixentes in Santiago de Compestela, Spain.

Research on psychedelics has demonstrated benefits for treating mental health conditions, including end-of-life distress and major depressive disorder. However, these drugs are not currently legal in most places and have some side effects. If some of the benefits of psychedelics can be achieved without drugs, using VR, these technologies could become an important tool in the effort to treat the global mental health crisis. Dr. Glowacki has co-founded a company, called, aNUma (anuma.com), to commercialize the technology studied in this research. According to aNUma co-founder and CEO Gregory Roufa, “We at aNUma are committed to bringing this technology into the world where it can help people with mental health issues, such as end-of-life distress and depression.” aNUma has developed a propriety multi-user VR system to deliver experiences like aNUma as digital therapeutics.

About aNUma
aNUma is pioneering the development of digital medicines to address the global mental health crisis. Our technologies leverage the state-of-art of virtual reality computing and a deep understanding of the neuroscience of transformational technologies. We are developing novel experiences to help individuals and their loved ones cope with the distress that occurs at the end of life. We are also developing group-based digital therapeutics to address the challenges of major depressive disorder at a global scale. aNUma was co-founded by Gregory Roufa, a successful serial entrepreneur; Dr. Joe Hardy, a cognitive psychologist with digital therapeutics experience; and Dr. David Glowacki, a leading researcher in VR applied to scientific simulation. aNUma’s advisory board includes leading neuroscience researchers Dr. Robin Carhartt-Harris and Dr. Adam Gazzaley from the University of California, San Francisco.

Contact Information:
aNUma
Joe Hardy
415-691-0094
Contact via Email
anuma.com

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