It is widely recognized that police performance may be hindered by psychophysiological state changes during acute stress. To address the need for awareness and control of these physiological changes, police academies in many countries have implemented Heart-Rate Variability biofeedback training. Despite these trainings now being widely delivered in classroom setups, they typically lack the arousing action context needed for successful transfer to the operational field, where officers must apply learned skills, particularly when stress levels rise. The study presented here aimed to address this gap by training physiological control skills in an arousing decision-making context. We developed a Virtual-Reality breathing-based biofeedback training in which police officers perform deep and slow diaphragmatic breathing in an engaging game-like action context. This VR game consisted of a selective shoot/don’t shoot game designed to assess response inhibition, an impaired capacity in high arousal situations. Biofeedback was provided based on adherence to a slow breathing pace: the slower and deeper the breathing, the less constrained peripheral vision became, facilitating accurate responses to the in-game demands. A total of nine male police trainers completed 10 sessions over a 4-week period as part of a single-case experimental ABAB study-design. Results showed that eight out of nine participants showed improved breathing control in action, with a positive effect on breathing-induced low frequency HRV, while also improving their in-game behavioral performance. Critically, the breathing-based skill learning transferred to subsequent sessions in which biofeedback was not presented. Importantly, all participants remained highly engaged throughout the training. Altogether, our study showed that our VR environment can be used to train breathing regulation in an arousing and active decision-making context.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.806163
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,192
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Crashing a Virtual Funeral: Morality in MMORPGs.Morgan Luck - 2009 - Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society 7 (4):280-285.
Augmentation of Mind-Body Therapy and Role of Deep Slow Breathing.Jerath Ravinder & Vernon A. Barnes - 2009 - Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine 1:1-7.
The Virtual and the Real.David J. Chalmers - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (46):309-352.
The Ethics of Representation and Action in Virtual Reality.Philip Brey - 1999 - Ethics and Information Technology 1 (1):5-14.
Playing With The Past.Erik M. Champion - 2010 - London: Springer.


Added to PP index

Total views
1 ( #1,545,954 of 2,507,093 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #417,155 of 2,507,093 )

How can I increase my downloads?


Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes