Immersive virtual reality methods in cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology: Meeting the criteria of the National Academy of Neuropsychology and American Academy of Clinica

by   Panagiotis Kourtesis, et al.

Clinical tools involving immersive virtual reality (VR) may bring several advantages to cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology. However, there are some technical and methodological pitfalls. The American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN) and the National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN) raised 8 key issues pertaining to Computerized Neuropsychological Assessment Devices. These issues pertain to: (1) the safety and effectivity; (2) the identity of the end-user; (3) the technical hardware and software features; (4) privacy and data security; (5) the psychometric properties; (6) examinee issues; (7) the use of reporting services; and (8) the reliability of the responses and results. The VR Everyday Assessment Lab (VR-EAL) is the first immersive VR neuropsychological battery with enhanced ecological validity for the assessment of everyday cognitive functions by offering a pleasant testing experience without inducing cybersickness. The VR-EAL meets the criteria of the NAN and AACN, addresses the methodological pitfalls, and brings advantages for neuropsychological testing. However, there are still shortcomings of the VR-EAL, which should be addressed. Future iterations should strive to improve the embodiment illusion in VR-EAL and the creation of an open access VR software library should be attempted. The discussed studies demonstrate the utility of VR methods in cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology.


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