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Home>News>2012>NIH awards IAI a new contract to develop a personalized, game-based, immersive cessation program for addiction treatment

NIH awards IAI a new contract to develop a personalized, game-based, immersive cessation program for addiction treatment

Illegal drugs, alcohol and tobacco negatively impact both the user and those around them. Pharmacological treatment of substance use can address physical dependence, but cannot address behavioral associations, often leading to a relapse. Recent research on abstinence self-efficacy indicates that addiction treatment can be improved by combining personalized treatment with immersive, virtual environments utilizing substance aversion gestures. IAI and its collaborators, Duke University and the University of Central Florida propose the development of an active, immersive, game-based cessation program – called PERSEVERE, which stands for Personalized Self-Efficacy Virtual Environment Recovery Experience. PERSEVERE integrates abstinence self-efficacy research into an immersive, mission-based game progression system. Game missions require the user to practice aversion gestures, thereby increasing abstinence self-efficacy. Support for personalization exists through avatar customization and mission selection, as users can select missions most relevant to their situation. Finally, PERSEVERE incorporates active-gaming mechanics through the Microsoft Kinect peripheral to create immersive experiences with substance aversion. This has the added benefit of promoting exercise, which may support a transition to a healthier lifestyle while contributing to a decrease in user stress. A pilot study on the effectiveness of PERSEVERE will be performed through a game for nicotine addicts, tentatively titled Kicking Butts.

About IAI:
Intelligent Automation, Inc. (IAI) is a technology innovation company headquartered in Rockville, MD. We specialize in providing advanced technology solutions and R&D services to federal agencies, and corporations throughout the United States and internationally. Leveraging agile R&D processes, a multi-disciplinary collaborative environment, and its substantial intellectual property portfolio, IAI excels in developing concepts into market-focused products and customer-driven solutions. IAI’s core R&D areas include: Air Traffic Management, Big Data and Social Media Analytics, Control and Signal Processing, Cyber Security, Education and Training Technologies, Health Technologies, Modeling and Simulation, Networks and Communications, Robotics, and Sensor Systems. For more information on IAI, please visit

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