Abnormal balance in individuals suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been documented in numerous recent studies. However, specific mechanisms causing balance deficits have not been systematically examined. This paper demonstrated the destabilizing effect of visual field motion, induced by virtual reality graphics in concussed individuals but not in normal controls. Fifty five student-athletes at risk for concussion participated in this study prior to injury and 10 of these subjects who suffered MTBI were tested again on day 3, day 10, and day 30 after the incident. Postural responses to visual field motion were recorded using a virtual reality (VR) environment in conjunction with balance (AMTI force plate) and motion tracking (Flock of Birds) technologies. Two experimental conditions were introduced where subjects passively viewed VR scenes or actively manipulated the visual field motion. Long-lasting destabilizing effects of visual field motion were revealed, although subjects were asymptomatic when standard balance tests were introduced. The findings demonstrate that advanced VR technology may detect residual symptoms of concussion at least 30 days post-injury.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology
- Human-Computer Interaction