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Neurorehabilitation of Spatial Memory Using Virtual Environments: A Systematic Review

1
Department of Human Sciences for Education, University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza dell’Ateneo Nuovo 1, 20126 Milano, Italy
2
ATN-P Lab, Department of Psychology, IRCSS Auxologico Italiano, Via Magnasco 2, 20149 Milano, Italy
3
MySpace Lab, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University Hospital Lausanne-CHUV, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland
4
Department of Psychology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Largo Gemelli,1, 20100 Milan, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(10), 1516; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8101516
Received: 29 July 2019 / Revised: 10 September 2019 / Accepted: 19 September 2019 / Published: 20 September 2019
In recent years, virtual reality (VR) technologies have become widely used in clinical settings because they offer impressive opportunities for neurorehabilitation of different cognitive deficits. Specifically, virtual environments (VEs) have ideal characteristics for navigational training aimed at rehabilitating spatial memory. A systematic search, following PRISMA guidelines, was carried out to explore the current scenario in neurorehabilitation of spatial memory using virtual reality. The literature on this topic was queried, 5048 papers were screened, and 16 studies were included, covering patients presenting different neuropsychological diseases. Our findings highlight the potential of the navigational task in virtual environments (VEs) for enhancing navigation and orientation abilities in patients with spatial memory disorders. The results are promising and suggest that VR training can facilitate neurorehabilitation, promoting brain plasticity processes. An overview of how VR-based training has been implemented is crucial for using these tools in clinical settings. Hence, in the current manuscript, we have critically debated the structure and the length of training protocols, as well as a different type of exploration through VR devices with different degrees of immersion. Furthermore, we analyzed and highlighted the crucial role played by the selection of the assessment tools. View Full-Text
Keywords: navigation; neurorehabilitation; spatial memory; systematic review; virtual environment; virtual reality navigation; neurorehabilitation; spatial memory; systematic review; virtual environment; virtual reality
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Montana, J.I.; Tuena, C.; Serino, S.; Cipresso, P.; Riva, G. Neurorehabilitation of Spatial Memory Using Virtual Environments: A Systematic Review. J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8, 1516.

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