Investigation of fMRI protocol for evaluation of Gestural Interaction applied to upper-limb motor improvement

Alexandre Fonseca Brandao, Raphael Casseb, Sara Almeida, Gilda Assis, Alline Camargo, Li Li Min, Gabriela Castellano

Abstract


The use of Virtual Reality (VR) systems for rehabilitation treatment as a complement to conventional therapy has grown in recent years. Upper limbs therapy using VR has already been shown useful for stroke patients. In this work, we present a pilot study aiming to investigate the use of a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) protocol to analyze brain connectivity changes in subjects undergoing upper limb training through a VR environment. Thirteen healthy subjects underwent resting-state fMRI exams before and after a VR session. Although no significant changes are expected in healthy subjects performing only one training session, this study could pave the way for future studies performed with both stroke patients or athletes performing more sessions. Indeed, no significant changes in motor cortex connectivity were found. Nonetheless, an evaluation protocol for this type of VR rehabilitation procedure was successfully established, to be used in further studies with patients or athletes.

Keywords


Gestural Interaction Motor stimulus, Healthy subjects, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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