Virtual Reality for Neuropsychological Assessment

  • Unai Diaz-Orueta
  • Beñat Lizarazu
  • Gema Climent
  • Flavio Banterla
Chapter

Abstract

Neuropsychology comprises a set of theoretical and experimental knowledge about relationships between the brain, cognitive processes and human activity. However, in the latest years, several criticism have been raised about the validity of neuropsychological tests for capturing nervous system dysfunctions and predicting the level of decline that individuals may show in their daily lives. Traditional paper and pencil tests lack ecological validity and generalizing its results to describe daily life cognitive functioning of individuals is controversial. In order to overcome this, and in parallel with development and cost decreases of virtual reality (VR) technology, integration of informatics and neuroscience is approaching the achievement of a more objective, precise, and ecologically valid neuropsychological assessment based on VR technology. The current chapter describes the problems faced with classical neuropsychological assessment tools and the need of improvement of their validity; the potential advantages of using VR based neuropsychological tests versus classical tests; and the actual progress made in using VR based tools to measure cognitive functions such as attention, memory or executive functions, with some of these tools already standardized and available in the market. Finally, predicted advantages of these tools for the early diagnosis of different neurological and neurodegenerative conditions and its implications in reduction of healthcare costs are considered.

Keywords

Neuropsychological assessment Cognitive functions Ecological validity Generalization of results Virtual environment 

List of Acronyms

3D

Three-dimensional

AD

Alzheimer’s disease

ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

CPT

Continuous performance test

CVLT

California verbal learning test

LFAM

Look for a match test

MCI

Mild cognitive impairment

TBI

Traumatic brain injury

RBMT

Rivermead behavioral memory test

V-STORE

Virtual store test

VAPS

Virtual action planning supermarket

V-MALL

Virtual mall

V-MET

Virtual multiple errands test

VR

Virtual reality

WCST

Wisconsin card sorting test

WISC

Wechsler intelligence scales for children

WISC-R

Wechsler intelligence scales for children—revised

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Resources on Virtual Reality-Based Neuropsychological Assessment and Related Areas

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Unai Diaz-Orueta
    • 1
  • Beñat Lizarazu
    • 1
  • Gema Climent
    • 1
  • Flavio Banterla
    • 1
  1. 1.Nesplora Technology and BehaviourSan Sebastián, DonostiaSpain

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