virtaul reality, head-mounted displays, visual perception, cognitive rehabilitation
Virtual environment (VE) design for cognitive rehabilitation necessitates a new methodology to ensure the validity of the resulting rehabilitation assessment. We propose that benchmarking the VE system technology utilizing a user-centered approach should precede the VE construction. Further, user performance baselines should be measured throughout testing as a control for adaptive effects that may confound the metrics chosen to evaluate the rehabilitation treatment. To support these claims we present data obtained from two modules of a user-centered head-mounted display (HMD) assessment battery, specifically resolution visual acuity and stereoacuity. Resolution visual acuity and stereoacuity assessments provide information about the image quality achieved by an HMD based upon its unique system parameters. When applying a user-centered approach, we were able to quantify limitations in the VE system components (e.g., low microdisplay resolution) and separately point to user characteristics (e.g., changes in dark focus) that may introduce error in the evaluation of VE based rehabilitation protocols. Based on these results, we provide guidelines for calibrating and benchmarking HMDs. In addition, we discuss potential extensions of the assessment to address higher level usability issues. We intend to test the proposed framework within the Human Experience Modeler (HEM), a testbed created at the University of Central Florida to evaluate technologies that may enhance cognitive rehabilitation effectiveness. Preliminary results of a feasibility pilot study conducted with a memory impaired participant showed that the HEM provides the control and repeatability needed to conduct such technology comparisons. Further, the HEM affords the opportunity to integrate new brain imaging technologies (i.e., functional Near Infrared Imaging) to evaluate brain plasticity associated with VE based cognitive rehabilitation.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Modeling and Simulation
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Fidopiastis, Cali, "User-centered Virtual Environment Assessment And Design For Cognitive Rehabilitation Applications" (2006). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 911.