Development and application of virtual reality technology to improve hand use and gait of individuals post-stroke

Judith E. Deutsch, Alma S. Merians, Serge Adamovich, Howard Poizner, Grigore C. Burdea

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Development and application of virtual reality (VR) systems for rehabilitation is an iterative process produced by collaboration of an inter-disciplinary team of engineers, neuroscientists and clinician-scientists. In this paper the use of virtual reality technology for the rehabilitation of individuals post-stroke is described. The development of the hardware is based on principles of motor control. Development of the software uses findings from the enrichment and motor plasticity and training literatures as well as principles of motor learning. Virtual environments are created to afford individuals post-stroke opportunities to practice tasks for which they require rehabilitation. These tasks, related to hand function and gait, are trained both at the impairment and functional level. The training engages users to allow for the repetitive intensive practice required for behavioral motor plasticity. Results from a series of upper and lower extremity studies indicate that use of VR technology to augment rehabilitation of individuals post-stroke merits further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-386
Number of pages16
JournalRestorative Neurology and Neuroscience
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


  • Haptics
  • Motor learning
  • Rehabilitation
  • Virtual reality


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