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Disabil Rehabil. 1999 Dec;21(12):548-54.

A preliminary investigation into the use of virtual environments in memory retraining after vascular brain injury: indications for future strategy?

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  • 1University of East London, UK.



In a preliminary investigation of the use of Virtual Environments (VEs) in neurorehabilitation, this study compares the effects of active and passive experience of a VE on two types of memory in vascular brain injury patients and controls.


Forty-eight patients with vascular brain injury and 48 non-impaired control participants were randomly assigned to active and passive VE conditions. The active participants explored a virtual bungalow seeking a particular object; the passive participants observed, but did not control movement through the VE, also seeking the object. Afterwards, both active and passive participants completed spatial recognition and object recognition tests.


Expectedly, the patients were impaired relative to the controls but were able to perform the virtual tasks. Active participation in the VE enhanced memory for its spatial layout in both patients and controls. On object recognition, active and passive patients performed similarly, but passive controls performed better than active controls.


The findings are discussed in relation to their implications for memory rehabilitation strategies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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