Ongoing research projects
University of Helsinki, Aalto University & Åbo Akademi:
Virtual Reality-Based Assessment of Executive Functions
The assessment of executive functions (EFs) is a central part of any neuropsychological evaluation, since deficits of EF are common among children. For example, a vast majority of the incoming patients at the Helsinki University Hospital’s Child psychiatric units are reported as having EF problems. These deficits should be reliably and objectively evaluated in order to ensure effective treatment that targets the core difficulties of the child.
PI (Principal Investigator): Marja Hietanen, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Helsinki University Hospital
Researcher: Jenni Uimonen PhD candidate, M.A. Psychology, Msc , University of Helsinki
Virtual Reality-Based Assessment of Neglect
Neglect is a common symptom after stroke. It is characterized by a failure to orient, report, or respond to stimuli located on the opposite side of the brain lesion. Its adverse impact on daily functioning and recovery from stroke is well established. Paper-and-pencil tests are traditionally used to assess the presence of neglect symptoms in a clinical setting, even though a large body of research has shown that their sensitivity is variable and too imprecise to detect for example subtle or chronic forms of neglect. Virtual reality (VR) technology offers various opportunities to improve assessment of neglect symptoms in different time points after stroke. Using VR technology in neuropsychological evaluation offers several benefits, but most importantly it can be used to display dynamic types of stimuli in a 3D environment in a controlled manner which is more representative of the real world. Moreover, it offers highly accurate measures (e.g., eye movements and sensor data) to characterize patient’s defects with high precision in an experimentally controlled setting that is not possible using conventional methods.
PI (Principal Investigator): Soile Loukusa, PhD, docent, speech and language therapist, Research Unit of Logopedics, University of Oulu;
Co-PI: Katja Dindar, PhD, psychologist, Research Unit of Logopedics, University of Oulu;
Researcher: PhD candidate, MA, Msc Aija Kotila, Research Unit of Logopedics, University of Oulu
Virtual reality environment to assess and support social gaze in children on the autism spectrum (VirtualGaze)
Children on the autism spectrum have challenges in reciprocal social interaction, such as eye-contact and following other people’s gaze direction. In this project, we design a virtual reality (VR) assessment and intervention protocol for social gaze using a participatory approach. We assess social gaze in children on the autism spectrum and typically developing children using multilevel data (eye-tracking, physiological, neural and behavioural) and carry out a VR intervention to support contextually relevant use of gaze. The research is conducted at the Research Unit of Logopedics in multidisciplinary collaboration with researchers and Peili Vision Oy. The development of novel research-based assessment methods provides information necessary for understanding children’s social gaze in a sensitive way. The project increases the knowledge on benefits of digitalization by studying VR as an ecological bridge for children to practise different processes of social gaze.
PI (Principal Investigator) Satu Saalasti, PhD, University lecturer, speech and language therapist;
Professor: Minna Laakso;
Researcher: Satu Paavola, PhD student, Department of Psychology and Logopedics, University of Helsinki:
Virtual real (VIRE): assesment and intervention of speech comprehension in school-aged children with and without language deficits
Difficulties in understanding spoken language are at the core of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders and developmental language disorders. Speech comprehension deficits may negatively affect social-emotional development, mental health and academic performance. There is a need to develop novel assessment and intervention methods to target and support treatment. Virtual reality (VR) can be used as an ecologically valid platform for conducting language research and studying speech comprehension.
Professor Emeritus Matti Lehtihalmes, University of Oulu;
MA, doctoral student Emilia Malinen, University of Oulu;
PhD, docent Soile Loukusa, University of Oulu; MD, PhD, Medical Director,
Verve Mika Pekkonen;
Professor Esa Läärä, University of Oulu;
M. Sc. (Tech.) Jussi Auvinen, Peili Vision Oy;
D.Sc. (Tech.) Topi Siro, Peili Vision Oy:
Immersive Virtual Reality in Aphasia Telerehabilitation
In Finland, the lack of adequate resources associated with an aphasia rehabilitation is a challenge, and there is a need to solve this issue. The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of an immersive virtual reality (VR) in a telerehabilitation and for the people with aphasia (PWA). In this study, the PWA will be practicing at their home with support by their relatives, and participants will also receive regular remote guidance by a speech and language therapist during the intervention. This model of rehabilitation has been already studied at the University of Oulu in the form of preliminary pilot study and with encouraging results by the Research Unit of Logopedics and the Peili Vision Oy.
Research and articles about Peili Vision solution
PsyArXiv Preprints (2023) (ENG) – Jylkkä, J.
Assessment of goal-directed behavior and prospective memory in adult ADHD with an online 3D videogame simulating everyday tasks
PsyArXiv Preprints (2023) (ENG) – Seesjärvi, E., Laine, M., Kasteenpohja, K., Salmitaival, J.
Assessing Goal-oriented Behavior in Virtual Reality: Children Prefer Head-mounted Displays but Flat Screens Provide a Viable Performance Measure for Remote Testing
PsyArXiv Preprints (2022) (ENG) – Jylkkä, J.
Assessment of goal-directed behavior with the 3D videogame EPELI: Psychometric features in a web-based adult sample
Scientific Reports 12, Article number: 20308 (2022) (ENG) – Merzon, L., Pettersson, K., Aronen, E. T., Huhdanpää, H., Seesjärvi, E., Henriksson, L., MacInnes, J., Mannerkoski, M., Macaluso, E. & Salmi, J.
Eye movement behavior in a real-world virtual reality task reveals ADHD in children
Psychological Research (2022) (ENG) – Seesjärvi, E., Puhakka, J., Aronen, E. T., Hering, A., Zuber, S., Merzon, L., Kliegel, M., Laine, M. & Salmitaival, J.
EPELI: a novel virtual reality task for the assessment of goal-directed behavior in real-life contexts
Journal of Attention Disorders, 18 (2021) (ENG) – Seesjärvi, E., Puhakka, J., Aronen, E. T., Lipsanen, J., Mannerkoski, M., Hering, A., Zuber, S., Kliegel, M., Laine, M., & Salmitaival, J.
Quantifying ADHD Symptoms in Open-Ended Everyday Life Contexts With a New Virtual Reality Task
University of Helsinki, master’s thesis (2020) (FIN) – Nella Brykner:
Virtuaalitodellisuuden hyödyntäminen sosiaalisen katseen harjoittamisessa: pilottitutkimus harjoituksen ja virtuaalitodellisuuden soveltuvuudesta 4–10-vuotiaille lapsille
University of Oulu, master’s thesis (2020) (FIN) – Anni Heinikoski, Tytti Parviainen:
Virtuaalitodellisuuden käyttäminen afasian nimeämisen kuntoutuksessa
University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Health Sciences, bachelor’s thesis (2019) (FIN) – Aleksi Penttilä:
Virtuaalitodellisuuden hyödyntäminen neglect-oireyhtymän hoidossa ja diagnoosissa
Laurea University of Applied Sciences, bachelor’s thesis (2018) (FIN) – Jenny Kareinen:
Virtuaalitodellisuus aivoverenkiertohäiriöpotilaan kuntoutuksessa: hoitajien kokemuksia virtuaalikuntoutuksesta
University of Oulu, master’s thesis (2018) (FIN) – Aino Karjalainen & Sanna Mäkelä:
Nuorten aikuisten orientoituminen virtuaaliympäristöön
University of Oulu, master’s thesis (2017) (FIN) – Mari Jääskeläinen & Janita Saastamoinen:
Toiston ja semanttisen kontekstin merkitys kohteiden nimeämiseen virtuaaliympäristössä
HYVÄKSI – Innovation Network on Welfare Technology (2018) –
Peili Vision Oy:n virtuaalikuntoutuspalvelun testaus Satalinnan sairaalassa Harjavallassa. (pdf)