First-person Immersive Virtual Reality to Improve Neurorehabilitation

Robotic motor training with ARMin exoskeleton in immersive virtual reality and brain activity recordings (EEG).

Virtual reality (VR) is often used during robotic rehabilitation training following brain injury to provide a motivating and safe environment.

Relatively novel and commercially available head-mounted displays have a great potential to realistically mimic the subject’s limb in a highly immersive training environment. In this immersive VR, the virtual representation may become a self-representation (i.e., avatar), promoting the feeling of body ownership over the virtual limb. Importantly, brain areas involved in body ownership are shared with brain areas linked to motor learning, namely multimodal areas associated with motor control. Therefore, increasing body ownership using immersive VR might be an effective tool to promote brain plasticity in motor areas during training. Yet, evidence on the benefits of first-person immersive VR during motor training is missing.

The aim of this project is to provide new insights into the neural correlates and behavioural benefits of embodying virtual limbs during robotic motor training and may open new perspectives for the neurorehabilitation of stroke patients.

Interested in the Project? Contact: Karin Buetler


Swiss National Science Foundation

NCCR Robotics

UniBe ID Grants


Odermatt, I. A., Buetler, K. A., Wenk, N., Özen, Ö., Penalver-Andres, J., Nef, T., Mast, F. W., Marchal-Crespo, L. (2021). Congruency of Information Rather Than Body Ownership Enhances Motor Performance in Highly Embodied Virtual Reality. Frontiers in neuroscience, 15(678909), pp. 1-15. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2021.678909