What We Do
WHAT IS VIRTUAL REALITY?
Virtual Reality (VR) refers to headsets and accompanying software that generate realistic images, sounds, and other senstions to replicate a real environment or create an imaginary setting. This technology has finally reached the point at which affordable consumer products can create compelling experiences. Neurologists, psychologists, and other researchers are attracted to this ability to precisely control stimuli and modify perception.
Some of our Projects
Phantom Limb Pain
Essentially mirror box therapy done with Virtual Reality. Custom built games and a web browser provide a greater sense of agency over phantom limbs and a more compelling illusion while engaging the patient.
We are using an eye-tracking VR headset with the Leap Motion to examine how subjects with Hemispatial Neglect explore their environments when presented with various arrangements of objects in peripersonal and extrapersonal space.
Navigation Brain Mapping
Subjects play taxi driver in a VR city, then play again on a regular screen while having their brain scanned.
An intervention for Broca’s Aphasia that sets subjects in front of a mirror in VR. As they speak, they will see an avatar that looks exactly like them correctly mouth their words.
Explores the psychological effects of varying certain architectural features by letting subjects compare and explore rooms in VR.
Explores the impact of a vibrotactile compass on navigation in a setting without any visual cues. Subjects strap on a compass that indicates north by activating buzzers, follow a short path that disappears, and then indicate their origin.
An intervention for people with Hemiparesis in which symmetrical movements are preformed with hands manipulated with novel control schemes enabled by Leap Motion.
Explore racial empathy by embodying different races in VR and experiencing interactions affected by prejudice.
An engaging intervention for Retinitis Pigmentosa in which a subject’s peripheral vision is precisely stimulated by meteors that hover in place before moving towards targets in a game akin to Missile Command.
An application for the Microsoft Hololens that renders 3D echocardiograms. We’re also exploring CT scan overlay for surgeons.
Explores effects of subtle geometric changes on memory with a series of trials in which subject must collect and then replace various objects.
Explores sensory effects of magnifying or shrinking one of the subject’s hands.
Who We Are
Dr. Branch Coslett
Dr. Coslett is the PI in charge of the lab. He’s a professor in Neurology, an attending physician at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania, Executive Vice Chair of the Department of Neurology, and runs the Lab for Cognitition and Neural Stimulation with Dr. Roy Hamilton.
Alex is the lab’s Unity programmer. He has master’s degrees in Computer and Information Technology and Computer Graphics and Game Technology.
The Vive enables us to walk around while we’re in VR. The sensors will track the two wireless controllers and the headset as you move about an area. We also have two trackers that enable us to track extra limbs or objects.
Leap Motion is a hand-tracking technology that enables us to monitor the user’s hands. It can be attached to the front of a VR headset and tracks each digit of each finger of the user’s hands.