Assessing Virtual Experience of Indoor Chemical Exposure

Measuring the Physiological Responses to Virtual Experience of Indoor Chemical Exposure

Principal Investigator: Jie Yin, Doctoral Candidate

Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) has a huge impact on patients’ quality of life, while its pathophysiology still poorly understood. The symptoms cannot be explained by traditional toxicological dose-response relationship, which states that chemicals only affect an organism if above a threshold dose. It is difficult to separate the toxicological, physiological and psychological aspects of MCS due to the heterogeneity of exposure conditions. Understanding the physiological pathways of MCS while controlling for potential psychological factors would be particularly important to identify the triggering events of MCS symptoms. Therefore, we propose a pilot project to assess the impact of visual experiences in spaces associated with various indoor chemical exposures on individual’s physiological responses by using virtual reality (VR) and wearable bio-monitoring sensors. The outcomes will be an essential foundation for future clinical studies of MCS patients. This study may provide valuable insight for the future development of effective therapeutic interventions.