Motor learning of people with visual impairment in a non-immersive virtual reality coincident time task
Keywords:learning, visual disability, virtual reality
Introduction: Virtual reality (VR) is used nowadays as an assessment and intervention tool in rehabilitation. One of the capabilities that can be assessed through VR is coincident timing, a perceptual-motor ability to execute a motor response in synchrony with an external stimulus. Visually impaired (VI) people need this synchronization of movements with external objects in their daily and leisure activities.
Objective: To investigate the performance of VI individuals in a VR coincident timing task.
Methods: Quantitative cross-sectional study with an interventional, quasi-experimental, descriptive, and explanatory nature. Sixty individuals participated in this study: 20 VI, 20 blindfolded and 20 non-VI, over 18 years of age. A semi-structured interview and a virtual coincident timing task were used.
Results: VI individuals started the task with the worst performance (Absolute error = group VI 945ms x blindfolded group 591ms x control group 557ms), but they improved throughout the task, as well as all groups, reducing the number of errors (mean absolute error= 698ms to 408ms). Furthermore, all groups increased task speed (mean variable error= last acquisition block 408ms x immediate transfer 227ms x late transfer 247ms).
Conclusion: It is concluded that VI individuals can develop motor learning from tasks in VR, showing the importance of taking advantage of these technological advances in this area, not only as a facilitator of task execution, but also as an instrument that enable rehabilitation programs to ensure functional improvements for real everyday tasks.
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