Virtual Mirror Therapy in a VR pointing task for stroke rehabilitation

Bastian Ilsø Hougaard, Lars Evald, Iris Brunner, Hendrik Knoche

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Background and aims: Whack-A-Mole VR is an open-source neurorehabilitation platform that aims to provide assessment and combined treatment of hemiparesis and spatial neglect. Virtual Reality (VR) may alter patients’ percption experience, through manipulation of their visual field of view, e.g. through visual constraint, offset position of the virtual hand and virtual hand mirroring. The study’s primary aim is to measure any short-term improvements after exposure to the VR manipulations. We hypothesize that 1) visual constraint and virtual hand offset will lead to faster reaction times and fewer mole omissions on the affected side and 2) virtual hand mirroring facilitates more arm movement on the affected side in subsequent Whack-A-Mole sessions.

Methods: A single case experimental design (SCED) study is planned with 12 stroke patients. For each treatment, patients play Whack-A-Mole VR for 5 minutes, where they use both hands to move two virtual cursors to shoot mole targets as fast as possible. While patients play, interaction data is generated that describe head- and hand movements and game events. In each module, all moles appear equidistantly one by one immediately after each other, to allow for spatial comparison of reaction times. The analysis will benchmark movement activity between patients, compare their pre- to post-performance and assess movement of the affected side to the unaffected side.

Results: To be determined.
Conclusions: The work will contribute to the ongoing validation of virtual reality serious games as neuropsychological assessment and evidence-based treatment which digitize healthcare and allow for specific diagnosis and personalized treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Stroke Journal
Volume7
PublisherSAGE Publications
Publication dateMay 2022
Pages546-588
ISBN (Electronic)2396-9873
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

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