Embodied Technology for Enhanced Clinical Applications: Emerging Topics and Future Challenges

A special issue of Journal of Clinical Medicine (ISSN 2077-0383). This special issue belongs to the section "Clinical Neurology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 March 2023) | Viewed by 3291

Special Issue Editors

Department of Psychology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 20123 Milan, Italy
Interests: virtual reality; positive technology; neurorehabilitation; spatial memory
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Psychology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 20123 Milan, Italy
Interests: neuroscience; psychology; interoception; body perception; multisensory integration; embodied cognition

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Traditionally, the fields of neuroscience and psychology have been concerned with the study of the cognitive processes that underlie the human experience, and how these affect our behavior and health. This approach misses a crucial aspect of the experience, that is, human bodily perception. Real-world experiences require the perception of the body, producing a continuous stream of both exteroceptive (sensory) and internal (interoceptive, proprioceptive, and vestibular) inputs. In this regard, neuroscience has shown that factors such as the multisensory integration of bodily signals, action, and embodiment are also critical to generating enhanced clinical applications. Understanding the dimensions of human bodily perception and how they can contribute to enhanced clinical experiences is also relevant for several purposes due to the fundamental role of human bodily perception processing in every aspect of our lives.

This Special Issue aims to explore the present and future of the field, including emerging topics and discussions of the clinical potential of embodied technology. We are interested in clinical trials, original research articles, opinions, perspective articles, and systematic reviews assessing the potential of embodied technology in a given field.

Authors of selected papers presented at the 2022 IEEE International Conference on Metrology for eXtended Reality, Artificial Intelligence, and Neural Engineering (IEEE MetroXRAINE 2022 - metroxraine.org) are invited to submit an extended version of their papers to this Special Issue. All submitted papers will undergo the standard peer-review procedure.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been previously published, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). Conference papers should be cited and noted on the paper. Please note that submitted extended papers should contain at least 50% new content (e.g., in the form of technical extensions, more in-depth evaluations, or additional use cases) and not exceed 30% copy/paste from the original conference paper.

TOPICS

  • Topics of interest include but are not limited to the following applications of XR technologies:
  • Enhanced clinical applications for space and memory perception.
  • Inner-body approaches for application in healthy and clinical populations.
  • Embodied simulations/stimulations.
  • XR for clinical and well-being applications.
  • XR-based bio-neurofeedback training.
  • Human–computer symbiosis.

Dr. Silvia Serino
Dr. Daniele Di Lernia
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Clinical Medicine is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • virtual reality
  • augmented reality
  • mixed reality in psychology
  • immersive experiences
  • e-health
  • embodied technology for psychological research and clinical purposes
  • multisensory technology
  • interactive multimedia technologies
  • serious games for clinical purposes

Published Papers (2 papers)

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10 pages, 457 KiB  
Article
Usability of an Embodied CAVE System for Spatial Navigation Training in Mild Cognitive Impairment
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(5), 1949; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12051949 - 01 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1509
Abstract
Individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) usually report navigation and spatial memory impairments. Spatial navigation is an embodied process that requires the active involvement of both physical (e.g., motor commands and proprioception) and cognitive (e.g., decision-making and mental rotation) information. Immersive virtual reality [...] Read more.
Individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) usually report navigation and spatial memory impairments. Spatial navigation is an embodied process that requires the active involvement of both physical (e.g., motor commands and proprioception) and cognitive (e.g., decision-making and mental rotation) information. Immersive virtual reality (IVR) is a valuable tool that employs this information as real-world navigation does. Given the crucial impact of spatial navigation on daily life, research should focus on ways to enhance it. Though they are still in their development, contemporary IVR methods for spatial navigation training in MCI seem promising. In this usability study, eight patients with MCI syndrome tested an IVR spatial navigation training demo and interacted with the CAVE using active stereo glasses, a foot-motion pad, and a joypad. During the demo, users were asked to report their impressions on the IVR training using the thinking-aloud procedure. Moreover, questionnaires regarding usability, presence and cybersickness were administered at the end of the experience. Our results show that the first version of this system is usable by the patients even if most of them did not have experience with PC/IVR. The system provided a moderate sense of spatial presence and limited negative effects. Issues found during the thinking-aloud procedure concerned the visual aspects, which affected the interaction user-system. Participants reported that they needed more practice with the foot-motion pad even though the overall experience was positively evaluated. Identifying these critical features was essential to develop an improved version of the current system. Full article
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21 pages, 903 KiB  
Systematic Review
Acceptance of Assistive Technology by Users with Motor Disabilities Due to Spinal Cord or Acquired Brain Injuries: A Systematic Review
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(8), 2962; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12082962 - 19 Apr 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1365
Abstract
Acquired motor limits can be provoked by neurological lesions. Independently of the aetiologies, the lesions require patients to develop new coping strategies and adapt to the changed motor functionalities. In all of these occasions, what is defined as an assistive technology (AT) may [...] Read more.
Acquired motor limits can be provoked by neurological lesions. Independently of the aetiologies, the lesions require patients to develop new coping strategies and adapt to the changed motor functionalities. In all of these occasions, what is defined as an assistive technology (AT) may represent a promising solution. The present work is a systematic review of the scientific AT-related literature published in the PubMed, Cinahl, and Psychinfo databases up to September 2022. This review was undertaken to summarise how the acceptance of AT is assessed in people with motor deficits due to neurological lesions. We review papers that (1) dealt with adults (≥18 years old) with motor deficits due to spinal cord or acquired brain injuries and (2) concerned user acceptance of hard AT. A total of 615 studies emerged, and 18 articles were reviewed according to the criteria. The constructs used to assess users’ acceptance mainly entail people’s satisfaction, ease of use, safety and comfort. Moreover, the acceptance constructs varied as a function of participants’ injury severity. Despite the heterogeneity, acceptability was mainly ascertained through pilot and usability studies in laboratory settings. Furthermore, ad-hoc questionnaires and qualitative methods were preferred to unstandardized protocols of measurement. This review highlights the way in which people living with acquired motor limits greatly appreciate ATs. On the other hand, methodological heterogeneity indicates that evaluation protocols should be systematized and finely tuned. Full article
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