Student Research and Virtual Reality Education Module

The MOCORE Lab is proud to have a community educational program centered around the development of virtual reality (VR) platforms for improving physical and cognitive rehabilitation. The sections below present previous and current research projects from local New Jersey high school students. Additionally, the MOCORE Lab is developing an Education Module to teach the basics of creating environments with the Unity VR engine.

Program Coordinators: Sean Sanford M.S., Mingxiao Liu M.S., and Samuel Wilder M.S.

Download a PDF of the MOCORE Virtual Reality Education Module
Last Updated May 1st, 2021

Jeeva Murugan - Cognitive Agency Rehabilitation

This application was built as a virtual gamified enviornment, which allows patients to play through various levels while training their sense of agency. The goal of the game is simple: place a cup in a coaster. However, the more levels the player completes the harder this simple task takes (i.e. the coaster size increases and the time interval to react decreases). While desigining the game, I added certain subliminal cues that enhance a users sense of agency the more they play, allowing them to have a non-invasive form of rehabilitiation.

Download a PDF Tutorial Document

Participant view with the Head Mounted Display

Additional view of the VR environment

Kwabena Boateng - Sense of Agency and Movement Control

The Sense of Agency and Movement Control Training Environment was designed to offer users a method to improve their sense of agency and movement control through several gamified training tasks. The sense of agency auditory and visual task were designed to function similarly to a "hit the target" game. It implements Haggard et al. (2002)'s intentional binding method which utilizes time perception and sensory feedback to measure agency in a user. The movement control task was designed to function similarly to a "dodge the blocks" game. It utilizes positional and speed delays to obseve a user's perception of their agency in relation to their actual performance. All training tasks were developed in the game engine Unity® and use several additional programs (Blender®, Gravit®, and Visual Studio®) for assets.

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Sense of Agency Task: Beginner

Sense of Agency Task: Advanced

Movement Coordination Task

Advanced Visual Feedback Sense of Agency Task trial

Beginner Auditory Feedback Sense of Agency Task trial

Johanna Gomez - Memory and Tracing

The Memory and Tracing Task is an application designed to put the user through a series of related tests in a gamified environment. The users will draw a shape they cannot see and will be given a series of questions that require them to answer from memory. The image is put through different distortions - rotation, size, shape disfiguration, and color – in which each contribute a factor to measuring cognitive impairment as a symptom of early developing Alzheimer’s disease. Inspired by Synofzik et al. (2010)’s use of manipulating visual feedback, the users’ sense of their own actions is examined. The user goes through different shapes in levels over the course of the game to be screened and measured for the cognitive disease.

Download a PDF Tutorial Document

Draw a shape with the computer mouse

Compare image to the original drawing

Report any identified distortions

Task Trial: Identifying distortions based on memory of the drawing

Matt Neissen - Language Skill Recovery

The Motor Control and Language Skill Recovery Application will serve to aid post-stroke rehabilitation of aphasia patients. Patients use a computer mouse to facilitate the transfer of an object across the computer interface. In doing so, patients exercise fine motor skills and cross the midline of their field of vision, addressing two common symptoms of aphasia patients. The application employs bandwidth feedback to visually alert the patient if the object strays from the intended path. Between rounds, patients will complete a language rehabilitation exercise designed to improve word association ability, vocabulary recall, and language-based memory. As reported by Anderlini et al. (2019) in a meta-analysis of aphasia rehabilitation studies, research is scarce on the promising correlation between language and motor recovery. If expanded to a clinical study, this application could assist in furthering this area of research.

Joseph Gisoldi, Micah Rubin, and Liam Sittig - Hand Tremor Rehabilitation

The Hand Tremor Rehabilitation Game is planned to be a virtual reality program in which the user completes common rehabilitation tasks that are used to treat hand tremors, such as weighted or resistance exercises, in a gamified environment. The user will be tasked to complete short, fun minigames, which will increase in difficulty over time to ensure progression.