Virtual reality

Bill Skaggs skaggs at bns.pitt.edu
Wed Jun 7 10:16:28 EST 2000

"SuperT" <brianau at netvigator.com> writes:

> Does anyone apply virtual reality on rehabilitation? e.g. stroke rehab,
> cognitive/ perceptual rehabilitation, etc. How is its effectiveness?
> Brian

I'm sure there are better examples, but the closest thing I'm aware of
is some work Ramachandran did with phantom-limb patients.  "Phantom
limb" is a curious phenomenon in which an arm or leg has been
amputated but is still perceived to be present.  In some cases the
phantom limb is innocuous or even useful (in learning to use a
prosthesis, for example), but in other cases it can be a source of
great pain or discomfort.  Ramachandran tried to give patients an
illusion of control over the phantom limb simply by placing a mirror
so that, when the patient's good limb moved, it looked like there was
a limb on the opposite (amputated) side that was executing a
symmetrical movement.  As he describes it, there were at least some
cases where this treatment led to a very rapid change in the
perception of the phantom limb, with a disappearance of pain and
discomfort that continued even after the mirror was taken away.

	-- Bill

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