Friday, January 30, 2015

Talk at the University of Lugano, Switzerland

An invited talk had been given at the Faculty of Informatics, Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) - University of Lugano, hosted by Prof. Marc Langheinrich and Evangelos Niforatos of the Ubiquitous Computing Group.
The talk included parts of the NeuroRehabLab research in virtual rehabilitation domain, undergoing studies and the future steps. Followed the presentation, a brief discussion took place with questions and answers.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


At the VI Conference of the Medical Intern Doctors at Madeira, that took place on 14 and 15 of November 2014, presenting our Virtual Rehabilitation tools and our work on Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) and Virtual Reality (VR) for mobilizing functional recovery after stroke.

The VR setup is a first-person perspective VR system that combines concepts of goal-oriented action execution and observation with task-oriented learning to specifically address the upper extremity.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

ACE 2014

At the 11th Advances in Computer Entertainment Conference (ACE 2014) for presenting the findings of our paper entitled: RehabCity: Design and Validation of a Cognitive Assessment and Rehabilitation Tool through Gamified Simulations of Activities of Daily Living wining also the bronze paper award.

In addition, out lab took part into the Workshop on Designing Systems for Health and Entertainment  sharing personal views and research results on the intersection of technology, health and entertainment.

Monday, October 13, 2014

BCI Workshop in Lisbon

Recently attended a Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) workshop from g.tec and University of Lisbon for a hands-on session on the three major BCI approaches: (1) motor imagery, (2) P300 and (3) steady state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP) for both assistive and restorative BCI.
Currently these paradigms are incorporated in VR for neurorehabilitation from our lab.


Sunday, July 27, 2014


Two papers will be presented at the ICDVRAT 2014 conference - 10th International Conference on Disability, Virtual Reality and Associated Technologies at Gothenburg, Sweden in September 2–4, 2014.

Quantifying Cognitive-Motor Interference in Virtual Reality Training after Stroke: the Role of Interfaces

Authors: Athanasios Vourvopoulos, Ana Lúcia Faria, Mónica Cameirão, Sergi Bermudez i Badia

Globally, stroke is the second leading cause of death above the age of 60 years, with the actual number of strokes to increase because of the ageing population. Stroke results into chronic conditions, loss of independence, affecting both the families of stroke survivors but also public health systems. Virtual Reality (VR) for rehabilitation is considered a novel and effective low-cost approach to re-train motor and cognitive function through strictly defined training tasks in a safe simulated environment. However, little is known about how the choice of VR interfacing technology affects motor and cognitive performance, or what the most cost-effective rehabilitation approach for patients with different prognostics is. In this paper we assessed the effect of four different interfaces in the training of the motor and cognitive domains within a VR neurorehabilitation task. In this study we have evaluated the effect of training using 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional as well as traditional and natural user interfaces with both stroke survivors and healthy participants. Results indicate that 3-dimensional interfaces contribute towards better results in the motor domain at the cost of lower performance in the cognitive domain, suggesting the use 2-dimensional natural user interfaces as a trade-off. Our results provide useful pointers for future directions towards a cost-effective and meaningful interaction in virtual rehabilitation tasks in both motor and cognitive domains.

An integrative virtual reality cognitive-motor intervention approach in stroke rehabilitation: a pilot study

Authors: Ana Lúcia Faria, Athanasios Vourvopoulos, Mónica Cameirão, Jean-Claude Fernandes, Sergi Bermudez i Badia

Stroke is one of the most common causes of acquired disability, leaving numerous adults with cognitive and motor impairments, and affecting patient's capability to live independently. In post-stroke it is imperative to initiate a process of intensive rehabilitation and personalized objectives to maximize functional cognitive and motor recovery. Virtual Reality (VR) technology is being widely applied to rehabilitation of stroke, however, not in an integrative manner. Like traditional rehabilitation, these new tools mostly focus either in the cognitive or in the motor domain, which can take to a reduced impact in the performance of activities of daily living, most of them dual-task. Assuming the existence of cognitive and motor recovery interdependence, RehabNet proposes a holistic approach. Here we present a one-month long pilot study with three stroke patients whose training was a game-like VR version of the Toulouse-Piéron cancellation test, adapted to be performed by repetitive arm reaching movements. A standardized motor and cognitive assessment was performed pre and post intervention. The first results on this intervention support a holistic model for rehabilitation of stroke patients, sustaining interdependence on cognitive and motor recovery. Furthermore, we observed that the impact of the integrative VR approach generalizes to the performance of the activities of daily living.