Working…
ClinicalTrials.gov
ClinicalTrials.gov Menu

Flotation-REST and Virtual Reality of The Overview Effect

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details.
 
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04155268
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : November 7, 2019
Last Update Posted : November 8, 2019
Sponsor:
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Steven Pratscher, University of Missouri-Columbia

Brief Summary:
This trial aims to examine whether the combination of Floatation-REST (Reduced Environmental Stimulation Technique) and virtual reality video of real images of earth from space simulate the Overview Effect, or the profound experience that astronauts report while seeing earth from space.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Healthy Behavioral: Flotation-REST + Virtual Reality Behavioral: Flotation-REST Only Behavioral: Virtual Reality Only Behavioral: Control Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

It is known from astronauts' experiences that viewing the Earth from space can result in overwhelming emotions, including feelings of awe, appreciation, humility, and interconnectedness, also known as the "Overview Effect." These astronauts often report developing a global consciousness, or an affiliation with humanity, after seeing earth with no borders or boundaries separating countries and people.It is impractical to expect people to go to space to experience the overview effect, but it may be possible to simulate it with a high degree of fidelity and experimental realism here on earth. Sensory deprivation float tanks create a feeling of timelessness and weightlessness that imitate the conditions of outer space. Virtual reality provides a sense of immersion into the experience and presence that one is realistically "there" in that setting.The combination of both of these technologies, floating and virtual reality, may have the capacity to occasion intense feelings of awe, self-transcendence, and mystical-type experiences.

Therefore, the primary aim is to examine whether the overview effect, induced through virtual reality of viewing real images of earth from space in a sensory deprivation float tank, leads to mystical type-experiences that have lasting positive effects on attitudes, moods, and behaviors?


Layout table for study information
Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 100 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Intervention Model Description: This experimental design of this study will be a balanced 2x2 factorial design with float tank as one factor (float tank vs. no float tank) and virtual reality as the other factor (virtual reality vs. no virtual reality).
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Simulating the Overview Effect: Examining the Capacity of Flotation-REST Combined With Virtual Reality to Elicit Mystical-type Experiences and Persisting Effects
Actual Study Start Date : October 15, 2019
Estimated Primary Completion Date : May 15, 2020
Estimated Study Completion Date : May 15, 2021

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Floatation-REST + Virtual Reality
Participants will float in a shallow pool of water with 1000 pounds of epsom salt, in a light and sound attenuated tank, for up to 60 minutes. They will wear a waterproof virtual reality headset that plays a recorded 360 degree video from an orbiting satellite showing earth from space. Following the session, participants' ratings of the experience will be measured.
Behavioral: Flotation-REST + Virtual Reality
Floating in a specialized tank to attenuate sensory input. Participants will wear a waterproof virtual reality headset and watch a video from an orbiting satellite of earth from space.

Active Comparator: Flotation-REST Only
Participants will float in a shallow pool of water with 1000 pounds of epsom salt, in a light and sound attenuated tank, for up to 60 minutes. They will NOT wear a virtual reality headset. Following the session, participants' ratings of the experience will be measured.
Behavioral: Flotation-REST Only
Floating in a specialized tank to attenuate sensory input.

Active Comparator: Virtual Reality Only
Participants will lay on an air mattress and wear a virtual reality headset that plays a recorded 360 degree video from an orbiting satellite showing earth from space, for up to 60 minutes. Following the session, participants' ratings of the experience will be measured.
Behavioral: Virtual Reality Only
Participants will wear a virtual reality headset while laying on an air mattress and watch a video from an orbiting satellite of earth from space.

Sham Comparator: No Flotation-REST or Virtual Reality
Participants will lay on an air mattress in a dark room for up to 60 minutes. Following the session, participants' ratings of the experience will be measured.
Behavioral: Control
Participants will lay on an air mattress in a dark room with no cell phone.
Other Name: No Flotation-REST or Virtual Reality




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Mystical-type experiences [ Time Frame: Immediately after the intervention ]
    Mystical Experiences Questionnaire (MEQ30); scale of 0 - 5 with 5 being being the strongest mystical experience following the intervention

  2. Change in persisting effects at 1 week and 4 weeks following intervention [ Time Frame: 1-week and 1-month after intervention ]
    Persisting Effects Questionnaire: scale of 0 - 5 where 5 is the strongest persisting effect

  3. Emotional Breakthrough [ Time Frame: Immediately after the intervention ]
    Emotional Breakthrough Inventory: scale of 0-100 with 100 indicating greater agreement on items related to emotional breakthrough following the intervention.

  4. Connectedness [ Time Frame: Immediately after the intervention ]
    Watt's Connectedness Scale: scale of 0-100 with 100 indicating greater agreement on items related to connectedness to the self, others, and the world following the intervention.


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in psychological well-being [ Time Frame: Baseline, 1- week and 1-month after intervention ]
    Psychological well-being scale; 7- point Likert-type scale with higher scores indicating higher well-being.

  2. Change in subjective well-being from baseline [ Time Frame: baseline, 1- week and 1-month after intervention ]
    Subjective well-being; 7-point Likert-type scales with higher scores indicating higher well-being.

  3. Change in self-actualization from baseline [ Time Frame: Baseline, 1- week and 1-month after intervention ]
    Self-actualization Scale; 5-point Likert-type scale where the highest score indicates strongest self-actualization

  4. Change in sleep health from baseline [ Time Frame: Baseline, 1- week and 1-month after intervention ]
    Sleep Health Index; descriptive survey

  5. Change in identification with all of humanity from baseline [ Time Frame: Baseline, 1- week and 1-month after intervention ]
    Identification with all of humanity scale; 27 item Likert-type scale ranging from 'not at all' to very much', very often', very common', where the higher number of 'not at all' answers indicates a negative response

  6. Change in values [ Time Frame: 1- week and 1-month after intervention ]
    Schwartz values scale; 57 items to assess different types of values identified by Schwartz's theory of values.

  7. Change in depression, anxiety, and stress from baseline [ Time Frame: Baseline, 1- week and 1-month after intervention ]
    Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale; 21-item questionnaire where the higher scores indicate worse depression, anxiety, and stress.

  8. Change in general health and pain [ Time Frame: Baseline, 1- week and 1-month after intervention ]
    SF-36; The short form health survey will assess changes in general health and pain from baseline.

  9. Change in personality self-perception from baseline [ Time Frame: Baseline, 1- week and 1-month after intervention ]
    Big Five-10 scale; 10 item scale ranging from 'disagree strongly' to 'agree strongly' where the higher number of 'agree strongly' answers indicates more positive self-perception of personality

  10. Change in death transcendence from baseline [ Time Frame: Baseline, 1- week and 1-month after intervention ]
    Death Transcendence Scale; 26 item scale where a higher score indicates a higher death transcendence

  11. Change in level of gratitude from baseline [ Time Frame: 1- week and 1-month after intervention ]
    The Gratitude Questionnaire (GQ-6); 6 item questionnaire with scores ranging from 'strongly disagree' to strongly agree' where a higher score indicates more gratitude

  12. Change in level of mindfulness from baseline [ Time Frame: Baselin, 1- week and 1-month after intervention ]
    5-Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire - Short Form (FFMQ-SF); 24 item scale ranging from 'never or very rarely true' to 'very often or always true', where higher scores indicate a higher level of mindfulness



Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.


Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 55 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Healthy
  • Between the ages of 18 and 155
  • No previous Flotation-REST experience

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
  • Active suicidality with intent or plan
  • Currently taking SSRI medication.
  • History of neurological conditions (e.g., epilepsy, stroke, severe traumatic brain injury, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia)
  • Any skin conditions or open wounds that could cause pain when exposed to saltwater
  • Inability to swim or lay comfortably in a shallow pool of water

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT04155268


Contacts
Layout table for location contacts
Contact: Steven Pratscher 847-894-7046 spratscher@mail.missouri.edu

Locations
Layout table for location information
United States, Missouri
Clarity Float Spa Recruiting
Columbia, Missouri, United States, 65201
Contact: Steven Pratscher    847-894-7046    spratscher@mail.missouri.edu   
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Missouri-Columbia
Investigators
Layout table for investigator information
Principal Investigator: Steven Pratscher University of Missouri-Columbia

Layout table for additonal information
Responsible Party: Steven Pratscher, Principal Investigator, University of Missouri-Columbia
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04155268     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2017263
First Posted: November 7, 2019    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: November 8, 2019
Last Verified: November 2019
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: Undecided

Layout table for additional information
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by Steven Pratscher, University of Missouri-Columbia:
Healthy
Virtual Reality
Floatation-REST
Float Tank
Floating
Overview Effect