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Physiother Theory Pract. 2018 Dec;34(12):935-950. doi: 10.1080/09593985.2018.1431344. Epub 2018 Jan 24.

Feasibility and reliability of a virtual reality oculus platform to measure sensory integration for postural control in young adults.

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a Department of Physical Therapy, Steinhardt School of Culture Education and Human Development , New York University , New York , NY , USA.
b Center for the Promotion of Research Involving Innovative Statistical Methodology, Steinhardt School of Culture Education and Human Development , New York University , New York , NY , USA.
c Vestibular Rehabilitation, The Ear Institute, Hearing and Balance Center , The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai , New York , NY , USA.
d Computer Science Department, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences , New York University , New York , NY , USA.



Using Unity for the Oculus Development-Kit 2, we have developed an affordable, portable virtual reality platform that targets the visuomotor domain, a missing link in current clinical assessments of postural control. Here, we describe the design and technical development as well as report its feasibility with regards to cybersickness and test-retest reliability in healthy young adults.


Our virtual reality paradigm includes two functional scenes ('City' and 'Park') and four moving dots scenes. Twenty-one healthy young adults were tested twice, one to two weeks apart. They completed a simulator sickness questionnaire several times per session. Their postural sway response was recorded from a forceplate underneath their feet while standing on the floor, stability trainers, or a Both Sides Up (BOSU) ball. Sample entropy, postural displacement, velocity, and excursion were calculated and compared between sessions given the visual and surface conditions.


Participants reported slight-to-moderate transient side effects. Intra-Class Correlation values mostly ranged from 0.5 to 0.7 for displacement and velocity, were above 0.5 (stability trainer conditions) and above 0.4 (floor mediolateral conditions) for sample entropy, and minimal for excursion.


Our novel portable VR platform was found to be feasible and reliable in healthy young adults.


Balance; oculus development-kit 2; rehabilitation; visual dependence; visuomotor processing

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