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Visuospatial neglect is a common consequence of damage to the right hemisphere in humans; it has been defined as a deficit in orienting towards, responding to and reporting stimuli that appear contralaterally to the side of the brain damage.1 Assessment of unilateral neglect relies on a battery of quantitative and standardised tests,2 with pencil and paper tests like the Bell test and behavioural tests, notably the Catherine Bergego Scale (CBS). Virtual reality (VR) has many qualities that give it rehabilitative potential for people with intellectual disabilities, both as an assessment and an intervention. It can provide a safe setting in which to practice skills that might carry too many risks in the real world. VR based tasks have been devised for assessment and rehabilitation of executive dysfunction, memory impairments, spatial ability impairments, attention deficits (see Rose and colleagues3 for a review) and visual neglect (see Tsirlin and colleagues4 for a review).
In this prospective study, right brain damaged patients and matched controls were assessed for visuospatial neglect with the use of a head mounted display VR system in a VR task close to everyday life with a virtual town through which the patient navigates. We aim to verify the applicability and interest of VR assessment of visuospatial neglect and navigation. Patients were consecutively included in a rehabilitation unit; eligible patients had a history of unilateral right brain vascular …
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.