AccScience Publishing / BH / Volume 2 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.36922/bh.2685

Immersive virtual reality for prospective memory and eye fixation recovery following traumatic brain injury: A pilot study

Kristen Faye Linton1,2* Bahareh Abbasi3 Melissa Gutierrez Jimenez1 Jaylyn Aragon1 Anna Gendron2 Rasmey Gomez1 Sky Hampton3 Ben Michael3 Savanna Monson1 Nathanael Paulus3 Vaishnavi Ramprasad1 Chrissy Stamegna2
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1 Department Health Sciences, California State University Channel Islands, Camarillo, California, United States of America
2 Department Administration and Programs, Brain Injury Center of Ventura County, Camarillo, California, United States of America
3 Department Mechatronics and Computer Science, California State University Channel Islands, Camarillo, California, United States of America
Brain & Heart 2024, 2(2), 2685
Submitted: 9 January 2024 | Accepted: 12 March 2024 | Published: 8 May 2024
© 2024 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( )

Rehabilitation is crucial for the recoveriy from traumatic brain injuries (TBI); yet, only 77 – 88% of TBI patients are receipients of rehabilitation. Particularly, individuals lacking insurance coverage or facing transportation hurdles, notably within the Hispanic community, are less likely to undergo rehabilitation. Virtual reality (VR), known for its mobility and affordability, is recommended as a rehabilitation alternative. This community-based participatory research project aimed to evaluate the acceptability, feasibility, and potential of VR scenarios in addressing common rehabilitative needs. Focus groups involving TBI patients (N = 12) were conducted to identify rehabilitative needs and design VR scenarios. Two novel scenarios were created to enhance prospective memory and eye tracking. The impact of the prospective memory VR scenario was assessed among individuals with brain injuries 1 year post-TBI (N = 11), who were divided into intervention and delayed-intervention groups. In addition, six participants underwent the eye-tracking VR scenario to evaluate its effectiveness. Data from memory tests and screen recordings were gathered. In the objective memory test, participants in the VR intervention group (66%) exhibited greater improvement than those in the memory card delayed intervention group (0%) after 12 sessions. However, there was no statistically significant difference in mean scores on a Prospective and Retrospective Memory Questionnaire memory scale between the intervention and delayed-intervention groups after 6 weeks. Nonetheless, all participants demonstrated enhanced eye tracking skills after completing the eye tracking VR scenario between the 6th and 12th sessions. In conclusion, the VR scenarios exhibited promise, acceptability, and feasibility in improving prospective memory and eye tracking for individuals with TBI 1 year post-injury.

Virtual reality
Brain injury
Eye tracking
Eye fixation
Research, Scholarly, and Creative Award from California State University Channel Islands grant was used to purchase equipment for this study.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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Brain & Heart, Electronic ISSN: 2972-4139 Published by AccScience Publishing