[Abstract] Attention Enhancement and Motion Assistance for Virtual Reality-Mediated Upper-limb Rehabilitation

Abstract

Dysfunctions of upper limbs caused by diseases such as stroke result in difficulties in conducting day-to-day activities. Studies show that rehabilitation training using virtual reality games is helpful for patients to restore arm functions. It has been found that ensuring active patient participation and effort devoting in the process is very important to obtain better training results. This paper introduces a method to help patients increase their engagement and provide motion assistance in virtual reali-ty-mediated upper-limb rehabilitation training. Attention en-hancement and motion assistance is achieved through an illusion of virtual forces created by altering the drag speed between the cursor and the object presented on a screen to the patient as the only feedback. We present two game forms using the proposed method, including a target-approaching game and a maze-following game. The results of evaluation experiments with human participants showed that the proposed method could provide path guidance that significantly improved path-following performance of users and required more involvement of the users when compared to playing the game without attention enhance-ment and motion assistance.

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