Liebermann, D. G., Berman, S., Weingarden H., Levin, M. F., & Weiss, P. L. (2009). Kinematic features of arm and trunk movements in stroke patients and age-matched healthy controls during reaching in virtual and physical environments. In Virtual Rehabilitation International Conference (pp. 179–184).
Abstract: Motor performance of stroke patients and healthy individuals was compared in terms of selected kinematic features of arm and trunk movements while subjects reached for visual targets in virtual (VR) and physical (PH) environments. In PH, the targets were placed at an extended arm distance, while in VR comparably placed virtual targets were presented via GestureTek's IREX system. Our goal was to obtain further insights into research methods related to VR-based rehabilitation. Eight right-hemiparetic stroke patients (age =46-87 years) and 8 healthy adults (age =51-73 years) completed 84 reaching movements in VR and PH environments while seated. The results showed that arm and trunk movements differed in the two environments in patients and to a lesser extent in healthy individuals. Arm motion of patients became jerkier in VR, with larger paths and longer movement durations, and presented greater arm torsion (i.e., larger elbow rotations around the hand-shoulder axis). Interestingly, patients also showed a significant reduction of compensatory trunk movements during VR reaching. The findings indicate that when targets were perceived to be beyond hand reach, stroke patients may be less able to estimate 3D virtual target locations obtained from the 2D TV planar displays. This was not the case for healthy participants.