from Hershey Medical Center, the Departments of Kinesiology and Psychology,
and the Applied Research Lab are working with the ITS/Academic Services and
Emerging Technologies Visualization Group to develop tools for assessment
of mild brain injury in athletes using virtual reality (VR) technology combined
with motion analysis and brain imaging techniques. Protocol development occurred
during Spring 2002 using ASET’s Immersadesk VR facility.
Freshmen football players were shown moving scenes on the wide-field-of-view Immersadesk screen while their postural responses to the perceived motion were measured using magnetic motion tracking devices. The subjects also stood on a force plate to record changes in their center of pressure resulting from the postural response. The Immersadesk protocol will be used to assess athletes who suffer mild concussions (both post injury and during recovery) at a new facility being created in the Lasch Football Building. The project is funded by a Hershey Medical Center Dean’s Feasibility Grant with additional funding, equipment, and support from each department involved.
Participating investigators include Dr. Wayne Sebastianelli,
Hershey Medical Center; Dr. Sam Slobounov, Kinesiology; Dr. Richard Tutwiler,
Applied Research Lab; Elena Slobounov, Visualization Group; Dr. William Ray,
Psychology and Dr. Karl Newell, Kinesiology.
To learn more about Penn State’s visualization efforts, see: http://gears.aset.psu.edu/viz/projects/vr/