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Clin Exp Otorhinolaryngol. 2019 May 9. doi: 10.21053/ceo.2018.01592. [Epub ahead of print]

Feasibility of Eye Tracking Assisted Vestibular Rehabilitation Strategy Using Immersive Virtual Reality.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Hallym University College of Medicine, Anyang, Korea.
Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences for Convergence Medicine, Hallym University College of Medicine, Anyang, Korea.
Department of Convergence Software, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Korea.
Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.



Even though vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) using head-mounted display (HMD) has been highlighted recently as a popular virtual reality platform, we should consider that HMD itself do not provide interactive environment for VRT. This study aimed to test the feasibility of interactive components using eye tracking assisted strategy through neurophysiologic evidence.


HMD implemented with an infrared-based eye tracker was used to generate a virtual environment for VRT. Eighteen healthy subjects participated in our experiment, wherein they performed a saccadic eye exercise (SEE) under two conditions of feedback-on (F-on, visualization of eye position) and feedback-off (F-off, non-visualization of eye position). Eye position was continuously monitored in real time on those two conditions, but this information was not provided to the participants. Electroencephalogram recordings were used to estimate neural dynamics and attention during SEE, in which only valid trials (correct responses) were included in electroencephalogram analysis.


SEE accuracy was higher in the F-on than F-off condition (P=0.039). The power spectral density of beta band was higher in the F-on condition on the frontal (P=0.047), central (P=0.042), and occipital areas (P=0.045). Beta-event-related desynchronization was significantly more pronounced in the F-on (-0.19 on frontal and -0.22 on central clusters) than in the F-off condition (0.23 on frontal and 0.05 on central) on preparatory phase (P=0.005 for frontal and P=0.024 for central). In addition, more abundant functional connectivity was revealed under the F-on condition.


Considering substantial gain may come from goal directed attention and activation of brain-network while performing VRT, our preclinical study from SEE suggests that eye tracking algorithms may work efficiently in vestibular rehabilitation using HMD.


Electroencephalography; Rehabilitation; Vestibular Diseases; Virtual Reality

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