Virtual Reality in the Treatment of Brain Injuries 

Sky Hampton, Dr. Kristen Linton, Dr. Bahareh Abbasi and Dr. Melissa Gutierrez 


Considering the cost and inconvenience of physical, occupational, and cognitive therapies in the treatment of brain injuries, it is important for those who lack insurance options and are low income to have an alternative means to get treatment. One of the upcoming methods of treatment and rehabilitation for brain trauma is virtual reality (VR) applications. VR involves the use of hardware that tracks hand location, and head and body movement, and incorporates that data into a three-dimensional world. Common uses of VR include education, medical training, video games, and aerospace simulations. The goal of this community-based participatory research project is to see if VR can be an effective and accessible therapy option for people with brain injuries and how it can affect their memory, movement, and problem-solving abilities. Two focus groups were conducted during the course of the project, the first one was comprised of eight participants held in Summer 2021, assessing the needs of people with brain injuries and how to incorporate them into our VR application. The activities that entail strengthening memory and eye-gaze tracking skills were chosen as our main focus after consultation with the participants. These exercises are implemented within the Unity game engine, a software tool that has built-in VR application programming interfaces. The current implementation uses a 360 video recorded on a GoPro camera as the environment for the exercise, one being a hiking video and the other being a beach walk video. The application is being developed with an HTC Vive Eye Pro, which has built-in eye-gaze tracking technology, which will allow for ease of development for the eye-tracking application. We have conducted a secondary focus group in Spring 2022 and demoed our primary developed VR application to get feedback.


Session 3 – 4:30p.m. – 5:45p.m.

Room B – Sierra 1422

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *