Psyrreal VR
Mimicking the phenomenological components of psychedelic, mystical and deep meditative experiences

Research into psychedelics has seen a renaissance in the last twenty years. Recent work has shown promising results for therapeutic benefits of these substances. One popular view claims that these benefits are mediated by the subjective experiences induced by psychedelics. 

Based on this, we designed a virtual reality experience, Psyrreal, that mimics the phenomenological components of psychedelic and mystical experiences as well as deep meditative states. This experience was implemented in an augmented therapy intervention to investigate whether a virtual replication of such subjective experiences could also lead to therapeutic benefits. We report results from an open-label feasibility study in people with symptoms of mild-to-moderate depression which indicate that Psyrreal has potential for alleviating depressive symptoms.

Download the free playable experience for PC VR
request access (via Google Drive) or contact the developers (below).
Note: the experience does not work on standalone mobile VR headsets (such as Meta Quest 1/2).
You can however use the software while connecting the mobile VR headset to your computer (via LINK cable or similar).

This software is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).
You are free to share and adapt the experience, but must give appropriate credit and not use it for commercial purposes.
To remove the evaluation watermark from the experience or access the source code made in Unreal Engine, please contact the developers (form below).

Read the published academic paper:

Cite as (APA): Kaup, K. K., Vasser, M., Tulver, K., Pikamäe, J., & Aru, J. (2023). Psychedelic replications in virtual reality and their potential as a therapeutic instrument: an open-label feasibility study. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 14, 290.

Designed and developed at:

Psyrreal in action

Watch a short teaser of the VR experience here or check out the full video on Youtube

Instructions before use of Psyrreal

“The whole experience was so immersive that you melted into it“ - study participant #2

Set and setting

In order to try the 45-minute Psyrreal experience, use the software in an interruption-free environment and it is advised to start with a short meditation in order to relax the mind.

Letting go

During Psyrreal some uncomfortable episodes or negative experiences may occur due to the visual stimuli or accompanying thought processes. It is recommended to try and accept these feelings and not resist them.

Safety measures

Standard VR safety precautions apply. Avoid using Psyrreal if you have epilepsy, are extremely tired or under the influence of actual drugs. The VR experience can be paused or stopped at any moment.

Contact the developers

Send inquiries to: (design) (technical) (research)

or use the general contact form below:

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