Increasing evidence in the field of rehabilitation emphasizes the need for intense task-related practice to promote the re-acquisition of balance skills. Motor learning is promoted by changing environmental contexts, altering the physical demands, problem solving, random presentation of practice tasks, sufficient practice and patient empowerment.
With the capacity of simulating environments, VR technology offers a new and safe way to not only increase practice time but also vary environments and constraints for maximized learning. Moreover, the “hi-tech” nature of the practice itself can act as further motivation for participants.
We have integrated VR technology with a dynamic force platform, motion analysis and electromyography. By combining our expertise in rehabilitation research, neuromuscular control and biomechanics, we have developed a unique interdisciplinary research team that will use these integrated tools to evaluate subject response to ‘real life’ situations under controlled laboratory conditions. Our team pushes the envelope of rehabilitation research with the development of innovative intervention strategies.