The virtual reality research group at the University of East London has its origins in basic neuroscience research on environmental influences on recovery of function from brain damage. Here we describe our work since incorporating within our research the use of virtual environments (VEs) in brain damage rehabilitation. We have focused on three issues relating to the development of VEs for people with impaired brain function: “usability”, the value of active interaction (as opposed to passive observation), and the nature of transfer of training from virtual to real environments. Our studies, which have encompassed vascular, traumatic, degenerative, and developmental brain damage, suggest that VEs have great potential in brain damage rehabilitation.

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