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Int J Virtual Real. 2012 Jun;11(2):63-76.

A Virtual Radial Arm Maze for the Study of Multiple Memory Systems in a Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Environment.

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MRI Unit, Psychiatric Department, Columbia University & New York State Psychiatric Institute 1051 Riverside Drive, Unit 74, New York, NY 10032, USA.


An increasing number of functional brain imaging studies are employing computer-based virtual reality (VR) to study changes in brain activity during the performance of high-level psychological and cognitive tasks. We report the development of a VR radial arm maze that adapts for human use in a scanning environment with the same general experimental design of behavioral tasks as that has been used with remarkable effectiveness for the study of multiple memory systems in rodents. The software platform is independent of specific computer hardware and operating systems, as we aim to provide shared access to this technology by the research community. We hope that doing so will provide greater standardization of software platform and study paradigm that will reduce variability and improve the comparability of findings across studies. We report the details of the design and implementation of this platform and provide information for downloading of the system for demonstration and research applications.


Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI); Virtual Reality Maze; WinShift; WinStay


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