Virtual Reality

Connor Timmerman

What is virtual reality being used for in the medical field and how effective is it?

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What is it?

  • Using computer technology to create a simulated, three-dimensional world that a user can manipulate and explore while feeling as if he were in that world
  • Using a headset and suits or handheld devices with sensors
  • The headset works by tracking the user's eye and head motions to correspondingly adjust the images on the user’s display to reflect the change in perspective
  • Immersion is very important, if broken, the simulation is a failure


“Autism is a disorder in the growth and development of a brain or central nervous system that covers a large spectrum of impairment, symptoms, and skills. The children who are suffering from autism face difficulties in communicating and adapting well in the community as they have trouble in understanding what others think and feel.”

HFA (High-functioning Autism)

  • HFA interferes with the process of building relationships, functioning occupationally, and participating and integrating into the community
  • Transition to adulthood is very difficult

University of Texas Study

  • 8 young adults
  • ten training sessions
  • social introductions and interactions with friends
  • initiating conversation with a roommate
  • meeting strangers/friends
  • negotiating with a salesman
  • job interview
  • working with co-workers and managing conflict
  • celebrating with a friend
  • consoling a friend
  • blind date
  • interacting with someone of a different background
  • significant increases on social cognitive measures of theory of mind and emotion recognition

Stroke-loss of balance

  • A stroke occurs when blood flow to a certain area of the brain is cut off
  • brain cells are are deprived of oxygen and begin to die
  • When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain such as memory and muscle control are lost
  • temporary weakness in an arm or leg to permanent paralysis to one half of the body or the loss of the ability to speak


  • Balance involves the coordination and stability of your body in your surroundings. It affects most day-to-day activities, such as moving around and reaching for objects
  • The loss of balance can reduce your confidence, increase your risk of having a fall, and lower the overall quality of your life
  • offers augmented feedback about performance with visual, vestibular, and somatosensory input, enables individualized repetitive practice of balance control, and stimulates both motor and cognitive processes simultaneously