A neuro vr-based version of the multiple errands test for the assessment of executive functions: A possible approach

Simona Raspelli, Laura Carelli, Francesca Morganti, Giovanni Albani, Riccardo Pignatti, Alessandro Mauro, Barbara Poletti, Barbara Corra, Vincenzo Silani, Giuseppe Riva

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Abstract

This paper presents a study aimed at developing a tool for the assessment of executive functions in patients with different etiologies by customizing a virtual reality (VR) version of the Multiple Errands Test (MET) (Shallice & Burgess, 1991; Fortin et al., 2003). The MET is an assessment of executive functions in daily life which consists of tasks that abide by certain rules. It is performed in an actual shopping mall-like setting where there are items to be bought and information to be obtained. The specific goal of this study was to conduct a pilot study using the virtual version of MET (VMET) with both control subjects and patients suffering from Parkinson's disease and from stroke. The task was supported by the employment of an advanced technology able to ensure an ecologically valid context for the patient. Specifically, the MET procedure, previously modified according to the requirements of the NeuroVR software system, was presented via a virtual supermarket. Subjects were requested to select and buy various products presented on shelves with the aid of a joy-pad. The procedures developed and employed during this pilot phase, results obtained for the two clinical samples and the implications for the assessment of executive functions are addressed in this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-314
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Cyber Therapy and Rehabilitation
Volume2
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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Keywords

  • Daily life tasks
  • Executive functions
  • Multiple errands test (MET)
  • NeuroVR
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)

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