Using Virtual Reality to investigate multitasking ability in individuals with frontal lobe lesions

Tanya Denmark, Jessica Fish, Ashok Jansari, Jignesh Tailor, Keyoumars Ashkan, Robin Morris*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
187 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Individuals with lesions in the prefrontal cortex often show impairments with the organisation of their behaviour in everyday life. These difficulties can be hard to detect using structured formal tests. The objective of this study was to use Virtual Reality (VR) to explore the multitasking performance of individuals with focal frontal lobe lesions, specifically using the Jansari assessment of Executive Functions (JEF©). Nineteen individuals with frontal lobe lesions were compared with 19 matched controls on the test and a group of commonly used clinical measures of neuropsychological functioning, as well as questionnaire measures of everyday activity, anxiety and depression. There was a significant difference between groups on the overall JEF© score and on five of the eight individual constructs, namely the planning, creative thinking, adaptive thinking, event-based Prospective Memory (PM) and time-based PM constructs. There were no differences between groups on the non-VR EF individual measures apart from on one EF control measure, Trail Making A. These results demonstrate the potential clinical utility of the JEF© and highlight the value of ecologically valid VR measures in detecting impairments in EF in individuals with frontal lobe lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalNeuropsychological Rehabilitation
Early online date8 Jun 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jun 2017

Keywords

  • ecologically valid
  • Executive function
  • neuropsychology
  • prefrontal cortex
  • Virtual Reality

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