Recent findings suggest that body ownership can activate the motor system in the absence of movement execution. Here, we investigated whether such a process promotes motor recovery in stroke patients. A group of patients with left-hemisphere damage (N = 12) and chronic motor deficits completed an immersive virtual reality training (three sessions of 15 min each week for 11 weeks). Patients sat still and either experienced (first-person perspective) or did not experience (third-person perspective) illusory ownership over the body of a standing virtual avatar. After the training, in which the avatar walked around a virtual environment, only patients who experienced the illusion improved gait and balance. We argue that representing the virtual body as their own allowed patients to access motor functioning and promoted motor recovery. This procedure might be integrated with rehabilitative approaches centered on motor execution. These findings also have an impact on the knowledge of the motor system in general.

Using Body Ownership to Modulate the Motor System in Stroke Patients

Tambone R.;Giachero A.;Burin D.;Pyasik M.;Pia L.
2021

Abstract

Recent findings suggest that body ownership can activate the motor system in the absence of movement execution. Here, we investigated whether such a process promotes motor recovery in stroke patients. A group of patients with left-hemisphere damage (N = 12) and chronic motor deficits completed an immersive virtual reality training (three sessions of 15 min each week for 11 weeks). Patients sat still and either experienced (first-person perspective) or did not experience (third-person perspective) illusory ownership over the body of a standing virtual avatar. After the training, in which the avatar walked around a virtual environment, only patients who experienced the illusion improved gait and balance. We argue that representing the virtual body as their own allowed patients to access motor functioning and promoted motor recovery. This procedure might be integrated with rehabilitative approaches centered on motor execution. These findings also have an impact on the knowledge of the motor system in general.
PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE
32
5
655
667
body ownership; immersive virtual reality; motor deficits; motor system; rehabilitation
Tambone R.; Giachero A.; Calati M.; Molo M.T.; Burin D.; Pyasik M.; Cabria F.; Pia L.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1788909
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