Does body shadow improve the efficacy of virtual reality-based training with BTS NIRVANA?: A pilot study

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Abstract

Background:

Aim of the present study was to evaluate whether the presence of body shadows during virtual reality (VR) training with BTS NIRVANA (BTs-N) may lead to a better functional recovery.

Methods:

We enrolled 20 poststroke rehabilitation inpatients, who underwent a neurocognitive-rehabilitative training consisting of 24 sessions (3 times a week for 8 weeks) of BTs-N. All the patients were randomized into 2 groups: semi-immersive virtual training with (S-IVTS group) or without (S-IVT group) body shadows. Each participant was evaluated before (T0) and immediately (T1) after the end of the training (Trial Registration Number: NCT03095560).

Results:

The S-IVTS group showed a greater improvement in visuo-constructive skills and sustained attention, as compared with the S-IVT group. The other measures showed nonsignificant within-group and between-group differences.

Conclusion:

Our results showed that body shadow may represent a high-priority class of stimuli that act by “pushing” attention toward the body itself. Further studies are needed to clarify the role of body shadow in promoting the internal representation construction and thus self-recognition.

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