Art-Science Project to Rehabilitate Brain InjuriesBy Raper, Vivienne; Cosmos Online,
Publication Date: May 3, 2011
Article discusses a virtual reality artwork system for helping brain injury patients to better control their hand and arm movements. ELEMENTS is a 42-inch tabletop TV on which patients can paint, play games, and mix sounds by gesturing with brightly colored, soft plastic shapes. It complements existing rehabilitation therapy for people recovering from brain injury. The system has two game types, the sound mixing game Mixer and drawing games Squiggles and Swarm, which allow people to draw simple pictures and create music. Bases, Random Bases, Chase, and Go-No-Go are ELEMENTS training games where people try to beat their previous scores on tasks. Stereo cameras constantly track the positions of the plastic shapes above the LCD screen to within 0.1 millimeter and can generate graphs of patients’ progress using the training games. Researchers at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology carried out initial studies with the system with 9 patients who reportedly showed an improved ability to handle objects after using it. An additional study with 3 men aged 20 to 21 years with brain injuries who played the 4 ELEMENTS training games for 12 one-hour sessions over 4 weeks found that participants’ accuracy and skill at moving a cylinder in a straight line to a target improved over the testing period. Participants also performed better at standard tests of movement control. The article includes the link to a 3 minute video demonstrating ELEMENTS in use.
Published by: Luna Media Pty Ltd (Website:http://www.lunamedia.com.au/)
Link to text: http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/news/4279/art-science-project-improve-brain-injuries
Link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svXT16txEbg