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Exploration and Learning in a VR Environment

Thank you for you interest in participating in our study. We are interested in how individuals explore and learn in virtual reality (VR). Adults and children between the ages of 6 and 35 can participate in this study, but only one person per household or immediate family is eligible. Please review the following information, and feel free to contact us at with any questions. 


What will I do during this study?


During this study you will:

  • Answer questions about your demographic information, health history and attitudes

  • Answer questions about how you react to uncomfortable and painful events.

  • Take part in a stress task in which you place your hand in a bath of cold water.

    • For this task, you will be asked to hold your hand in the cold water until you need to remove it or the experimenter asks you to do so.

  • Have painless sensors placed on your hand to record information about your body.

  • Have a small tube in your mouth that can produce brief puffs of air. 

    • In order to keep this tube in place, a mold will be made to fit over your tooth.

    • The tube will be attached to the mold will be in your mouth for the whole study.

  • Play a VR game that takes place on a completely new and different planet.

    • You will be completing tasks, such as searching for objects, and meeting aliens.

    •  You may experience some strange things, such as feelings, sights, or noises,   while you explore.

      • Some of these things may be surprising or uncomfortable, but not painful.  

What will happen?


Who can participate in this study?

To be eligible to participate in this study, you (or your child) must meet all of the following criteria: 


  • Be between 6 and 35 years old.·

  • Have a stable, healthy interior maxillary tooth (one of your front 6 teeth)

  • Have the ability to read, write and converse in English (OH and TX) or in Spanish (TX only).

  • Be willing and able to provide a signed and dated informed consent/assent form (with parent permission form, if applicable) 

  • Be willing to comply with all study procedures and availability for the duration of the study. 

Is there anyone who cannot participate?


Unfortunately you (or your child) are unable to participate if any of the following are true of you (or your child):​

  • Have achromatopsia (total colorblindness).

  • Have a fixed dental or orthodontic appliance that interferences with placement of study equipment..

  • Live in the same household as, or be an immediate family member of, an enrolled study participant.

  • Unwilling to remove facial cosmetics (e.g., makeup) or attend sessions without cosmetics.

  • A history of:

-​ Cardiovascular disease

- Vertigo or fainting

- Meniere’s disease

- Extreme or persistent nausea and   
  vomiting during pregnancy


- Disorders involving limited blood
  flow, including Raynaud's
  syndrome or Raynaud's disease

- Seizures or epilepsy

- Severe migraines

- Bleeding or clotting disorder

- Frostbite or extreme sensitivity
  to cold


- Stomach or inner ear disorders 
  which increase risk of nausea

  and dizziness

  • Current:​​

-​ Inner ear infection 

- Use of blood thinners

- Use of anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) or
  antidepressant medication.


- Use of bifocal, multifocal, or
   varifocal lenses


- Use of glasses or contact lenses
  with a prescription greater than or
  equal to ± 6 

- Injury to hands or arm 

- Pacemaker

- Pain or hypersensitivity in any of the
  front six teeth


- Fixed dental or orthodontic     
  appliance (e.g., permanent retainer)

  • Have any other medical condition that requires avoiding even mild stress or elevates risk of falls, or risk for dizziness, nausea, or a vasovagal reaction.  

  • Have any other general or oral health contraindications as determined by review of health reports by the study dentist. 

Time & Location


Where will this study be conducted?

​This study is being run at two study sites. You will need to be able to be present at one of these two sites to participate.

  • Site 1: The University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, TX

  • Site 2: The Unviersity of Toledo, Toledo, OH

How long will this study take?

​This study take place during two study sessions that will occur approximately 1 week apart.

  • The first study session will take approximately 60-90 minutes.

  • The second session will take approximately 45 minutes.


Sign up
How do I sign up?

Fill out your contact information below and one of our team members will send you an email to schedule a time for a brief screening call. If you are eligible, you will be scheduled for the study sessions during that phone call. 

Thanks for submitting!

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