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Application and development of virtual reality tools to complement conventional therapy of stroke patients and evaluation of recovery using brain connectivity through fMRI

Grant number: 15/03695-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2018
Effective date (End): January 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal researcher:Gabriela Castellano
Grantee:Alexandre Fonseca Brandão
Home Institution: Instituto de Física Gleb Wataghin (IFGW). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/07559-3 - BRAINN - The Brazilian Institute of Neuroscience and Neurotechnology, AP.CEPID
Associated scholarship(s):19/02200-3 - Virtual reality for neurorehabilitation: from the development of the solution to the transfer of technology for the benefit of society, BE.EP.PD


Virtual Reality (VR) systems have been used in science as tools for teaching and learning, technical training and entertainment. In the field of neurofunctional rehabilitation, VR gives a real opportunity to complement conventional therapy on people who live with physical and cognitive limitations. Here we present a project, whose goal is to test and improve a VR package to aid the improvement of motor and cognitive function in patients who have suffered a stroke. The VR package, called GestureCollection (coauthored by the candidate), is aimed at stimulating Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) through the movement of the lower and upper limbs, including trunk rotation. This application uses a gesture recognition sensor (Microsoft Kinect) that scans the user's body and creates spatial coordinates from their joints, allowing gestural interaction. The aim of the project is to use these VR tools in parallel with standard physiotherapy sessions, and investigate whether this improves patients' recovery. This improvement will be evaluated by assessing the brain connectivity using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

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