Curing chronic neck pain through virtual reality perception; exploring the link between urban Aboriginal male identity and health and evaluating plant management programs on the Gold Coast. These are just some of the research projects undertaken by 13 Indigenous students as part of the Kungullanji Indigenous Summer Research Symposium. The Symposium, in its second year, offers the opportunity for undergraduate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to participate in research projects across areas in Griffith Sciences and Griffith Health programs.

Bachelor of Exercise Science student Estin Hunter was part of a project that aims to cure chronic neck pain by altering perception of body in space through virtual reality goggles.

“My main focus was to work out a way to maximise the illusion of changing a person’s body perception, so that it can then be applied to treat people suffering from chronic neck pain,” he said.

“The theory is to train the brain to move the neck to a spot that previously caused pain and over time the brain will recognise that this is no longer painful.

“This research is amazing because we can eventually move away from drugs and medication to treat pain by altering the brains activity.”

Estin said if it wasn’t for the Symposium he never would have had the opportunity to work on such a quality research project, which was supervised by Dr Daniel Harvie from the School of Allied Health Science’s RECOVER Injury Research Centre.