Front. Neurol., 10 July 2012 | doi: 10.3389/fneur.2012.00110

A fully immersive set-up for remote interaction and neurorehabilitation based on virtual body ownership

Daniel Perez-Marcos1,2*, Massimiliano Solazzi3, William Steptoe4, Oyewole Oyekoya4, Antonio Frisoli3, Tim Weyrich4, Anthony Steed4, Franco Tecchia3, Mel Slater2,4,5 and Maria V. Sanchez-Vives1,2,5
  • 1Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, Barcelona, Spain
  • 2Experimental Virtual Environments for Neuroscience and Technology-Lab, Facultat de Psicologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  • 3Perceptual Robotics Laboratory, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy
  • 4Department of Computer Science, University College London, London, UK
  • 5Institució Catalana Recerca i Estudis Avançats, Barcelona, Spain

Although telerehabilitation systems represent one of the most technologically appealing clinical solutions for the immediate future, they still present limitations that prevent their standardization. Here we propose an integrated approach that includes three key and novel factors: (a) fully immersive virtual environments, including virtual body representation and ownership; (b) multimodal interaction with remote people and virtual objects including haptic interaction; and (c) a physical representation of the patient at the hospital through embodiment agents (e.g., as a physical robot). The importance of secure and rapid communication between the nodes is also stressed and an example implemented solution is described. Finally, we discuss the proposed approach with reference to the existing literature and systems.

Keywords: virtual reality, telemedicine, teleneurology, neurorehabilitation, body ownership, multisensory correlations, haptics, rubber hand illusion

Citation: Perez-Marcos D, Solazzi M, Steptoe W, Oyekoya O, Frisoli A, Weyrich T, Steed A, Tecchia F, Slater M and Sanchez-Vives MV (2012) A fully immersive set-up for remote interaction and neurorehabilitation based on virtual body ownership. Front. Neur. 3:110. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2012.00110

Received: 23 April 2012; Accepted: 19 June 2012;
Published online: 10 July 2012.

Edited by:

Steven Levine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, USA

Reviewed by:

Kumar Rajamani, Wayne State University, USA
Mark Rubin, Mayo Clinic, USA

Copyright: © 2012 Perez-Marcos, Solazzi, Steptoe, Oyekoya, Frisoli, Weyrich, Steed, Tecchia, Slater and Sanchez-Vives. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

*Correspondence: Daniel Perez-Marcos, Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, C/Roselló 149-153, 08036 Barcelona, Spain. e-mail:

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