About this Research Topic
Virtual reality environments are becoming increasingly prominent in rehabilitation, but much remains to be understood about the influence of human factors on the effectiveness of virtual interactions. Virtual environments relevant to rehabilitation contexts vary in terms of interaction requirements and methods of input and control; for example, they may require interaction via markerless full body motion capture, via a hand-held controller, or via eye tracking. Other technological affordances such as level of immersion of the viewing medium, the type of feedback provided, or the complexity of audiovisual graphics in the virtual environment may also influence the learning that happens in rehabilitation contexts, and the extent to which practice in virtual environments transfers to improved performance in real life. In order to support the emerging evidence base focusing on how virtual environment use can promote or restore movement or function in a variety of patient populations, it is important to understand how user characteristics interact with the technological attributes of virtual environments to influence performance and learning. Human factors of relevance include, but are not limited to: affect (e.g. motivation, engagement, enjoyment), executive functioning, attention, visual-spatial abilities, age, physical capabilities, and experience with virtual environments, among others. This special issue aims to create an insightful and multidisciplinary forum for discussion about the potential impact of human-computer interactions in virtual environments in the context of rehabilitation. The goal is to present cutting-edge research on this topic, illuminating what is currently known about the influence of human factors in learning in virtual rehabilitation contexts, identifying subsequent research directions and informing decision-making about clinical use.
We therefore welcome submissions of Original Research and Reviews on the following topics:
- Evaluation of the role of human factors in performance, learning and transfer in virtual environments
- Design and evaluation of virtual environments that differentially consider individual human factors
- Theoretical perspective of understanding the nature of human-computer interactions in virtual environments
- Methods for measuring and understanding the impact of human factors (e.g. motivation, engagement, attention, presence, embodiment) in virtual environment interaction and learning
- Challenges and pitfalls in human-computer interactions in rehabilitation contexts
- Design and evaluation of technological and task attributes of virtual environments to promote learning and transfer in individualized contexts
Keywords: Virtual Reality, Human Factors, Affect, Engagement, Motivation, Cognition, Motor Skills
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.