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Virtual reality could spot real-world cognitive impairments

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by biophile, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    Virtual reality could spot real-world cognitive impairments:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121118141406.htm

    This is an article on a study involving stroke patients, but I thought it was interesting because it describes the problem where standard testing may not detect real world problems, implying there are no problems so the patient must be perceiving them (sound familiar?), but other tests may do a better job at detecting real-world problems.

    Cognitive impairment is established in CFS, although there is not always a correlation between self-reports and testing. This has lead some researchers such as the Nijmegen group eg Knoop et al to speculate that the perceptions of impairments are cognitive distortions which need correcting with CBT. One of their studies has shown that CBT can improve self-reported impairment but not actual test performance.
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  2. AFCFS

    AFCFS Senior Member

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    The virtual reality test is called the Multitasking in the City Task - seems like an urbanized Farmville. I find the article interesting but, I think that I would do much better in a virtual reality, just because it does not involve the stress of actually putting feet on the ground and human interaction.

    Test-takers use a game controller to maneuver their way through an artificial world. In one test, they are given 15 minutes to accomplish virtual tasks such as going to the bank, going shopping and paying bills.

    In another task, they have to deliver packages to offices given incomplete information -- for instance, by reasoning that a caterer's office is more likely to get a magazine about the food industry than is a lawyer's. Yet another task requires the test-taker to watch moving assembly lines for defective products.

    On occasion I have said God D*it and the "F" word more times between taking a shower and putting on a pair of pants than a drunken sailor on shore leave would care to admit. It is sometimes the combined physical-cognitive effort, not likely found in a virtual reality, that may elicit a low-frustration level.

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  3. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    Good point. The article made me wonder about video games, where I can get significantly better at basic skills and coordination, but cannot sustain it long without consequences and I must use the easiest settings.

    Another good point, I have wondered how much post-exertional symptomatology from physical activity is due to neural activity of coordination and (neuro)muscular activation.
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  4. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    I've been pretty into those sorts of games for the past 15 years or so. There certainly was a huge reduction in what I could do after getting sick - I couldn't do hack-n-slash on a text-based game, because I couldn't keep track of all the different variables: what the opponent was doing, what I was doing, what group mates were doing, if I was getting hurt, was I using the right weapon/commands, etc. Even quests that I knew backward-and-forward after 10 years were very hard for me to repeat.

    Same thing with world-building games. I could handle 1404 on the DS for a limited time (if I was lying down), but trying the much more complex, yet slower-paced PC version would be unbearable with all of the quests, multiple settlements, simultaneous goals and tasks, etc.

    I think the biggest factor is if it's a linear task versus one with multiple things happening at the same time. Though even linear tasks are too much if there's too many steps or if any step is uncertain - my head just wouldn't be able to wrap around it and I couldn't get started.

    Since starting Strattera and my OI being properly treated, I no longer have a problem with those tasks unless I'm in a crash state to some extent.
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  5. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    I definitely have some neuromuscular problems. I drop things a lot more, especially my pills. I would not be good at any computer game that required precise control of the mouse.
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  6. AFCFS

    AFCFS Senior Member

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    I also drop pills a lot. Its funny because at first I would just kind of take it as coincidental clumsiness, but after a time there just seems like a general loss of dexterity. As far as computer games, I stick to something simple like playing chess so it is not too much of a challenge for the eye-hand coordination.
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  7. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    Mine is definitely a general loss of dexterity. I increasingly fumble and drop things. There are more food stains on my clothing and on my floor.This is particularly annoying because I have less energy for cleaning and laundry.

    I also stumble and trip more than I did before ME. That has not seemed to increase in the way that fumbling and dropping has. Maybe I am just more careful because the consequence of a fall can be much worse. After tripping on stairs a couple of times, I have trained myself to be very careful when going up and down stairs. I also bought myself a shower seat to avoid a fall in the shower.
    AFCFS likes this.

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