REINVENT: A Closed-Loop VR Neurofeedback System for Motor Recovery after Severe Stroke
Principal Investigator: Sook-Lei Liew PhD, OTR/L
Jan 2016 – Dec 2018
This study will examine the preliminary effectiveness of a novel system that could provide an innovative new way for individuals with severe motor impairments after stroke, who cannot activate motor regions through volitional movement, to train and strengthen neural connections between the brain and muscles of the impaired limb in an evidence-based, motivating, portable, and affordable environment. Future work could build on these advances by modifying this system for home use to make neurorehabilitation training more accessible for those who need it most.
|Private||American Heart Association||16IRG26960017||$149,446|
Anglin, J. M., Sugiyama, T., & Liew, S.-L. (2017). Visuomotor adaptation in head-mounted virtual reality versus conventional training. Scientific Reports, 7, 45469. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep45469 Show abstract
Immersive, head-mounted virtual reality (HMD-VR) provides a unique opportunity to understand how changes in sensory environments affect motor learning. However, potential differences in mechanisms of motor learning and adaptation in HMD-VR versus a conventional training (CT) environment have not been extensively explored. Here, we investigated whether adaptation on a visuomotor rotation task in HMD-VR yields similar adaptation effects in CT and whether these effects are achieved through similar mechanisms. Specifically, recent work has shown that visuomotor adaptation may occur via both an implicit, error-based internal model and a more cognitive, explicit strategic component. We sought to measure both overall adaptation and balance between implicit and explicit mechanisms in HMD-VR versus CT. Twenty-four healthy individuals were placed in either HMD-VR or CT and trained on an identical visuomotor adaptation task that measured both implicit and explicit components. Our results showed that the overall timecourse of adaption was similar in both HMD-VR and CT. However, HMD-VR participants utilized a greater cognitive strategy than CT, while CT participants engaged in greater implicit learning. These results suggest that while both conditions produce similar results in overall adaptation, the mechanisms by which visuomotor adaption occurs in HMD-VR appear to be more reliant on cognitive strategies.
Anglin, J., Saldana, D., Schmiesing, A., & Liew, S.-L. (2017). Transfer of a skilled motor learning task between virtual and conventional environments. In 2017 IEEE Virtual Reality (VR) (pp. 401-402). IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/VR.2017.7892346 Show abstract
Immersive, head-mounted virtual reality (HMD-VR) can be a potentially useful tool for motor rehabilitation. However, it is unclear whether the motor skills learned in HMD-VR transfer to the non-virtual world and vice-versa. Here we used a well-established test of skilled motor learning, the Sequential Visual Isometric Pinch Task (SVIPT), to train individuals in either an HMD-VR or conventional training (CT) environment. Participants were then tested in both environments. Our results show that participants who train in the CT environment have an improvement in motor performance when they transfer to the HMD-VR environment. In contrast, participants who train in the HMD-VR environment show a decrease in skill level when transferring to the CT environment. This has implications for how training in HMD-VR and CT may affect performance in different environments.
Anglin, J. M., Sugiyama, T., & Liew, S.-L. (2016, November). Visuomotor adaptation in head-mounted virtual reality versus conventional training [Paper presentation]. Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA.
How Virtual Avatars Help Stroke Patients Improve Motor Function
At USC, Dr. Sook-Lei Liew is testing whether watching a virtual avatar that moves in response to brain commands can activate portions of the brain damaged by stroke
S. C. Stuart, in PCMag.com | March 8, 2018
VR could trick stroke victims’ brains toward recovery
Researchers at the University of Southern California are examining how virtual reality could promote brain plasticity and recovery
Abrar Al-Heeti, in CNET | October 15, 2017
REINVENT: Leveraging Virtual Reality and Neurofeedback to Help With Motor Rehabilitation
Suffering a stroke instantly changes a life, and it’s even more challenging when complications such as motor impairment occur. Researchers with backgrounds in neural plasticity and mixed realities recently came together to develop a low-cost, virtual reality motor rehabilitation solution, and early results look promising.
IEEE Xplore | August 16, 2017
Using virtual reality — and mom’s sewing machine — for stroke rehab
Sook-Lei Liew builds a prototype with a laptop, an off-the-shelf VR rig, a $9 swim cap and a brain-computer interface system
Katharine Gammon, in USC News | June 12, 2017
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Nick Romano, in Entertainment Weekly | March 18, 2017
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Seth Porges, in Forbes | March 8, 2017