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Institute of Psychiatry Arena Paradigm Project

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Developed Using: Superscape VRT

This software was developed to support the Institute of Psychiatry in their research into visio-spatial memory patterns of brain-injured patients.

The real-time 3D environment allows experimenters to set up a virtual arena in which the subjects are asked to carry out a range of navigational tasks. These require the subject to recognise key features in the arena, such as poles, platforms and background objects (houses, trees, etc.), while the experimenter uses an advanced scanning headset to record their brain activity.

The research yields information on what parts of the brain are responsible for spatial pattern recognition and how this function is impaired by damage to these parts of the brain.

The software was developed in close collaboration with Professor Robin G. Morris, Dr David Parslow and Dr. Vanessa Chabanne of the Institute of Psychiatry, who played a key role in identifying the functional requirements of the solution, and in providing feedback during all stage of the development, including an extensive beta-testing program during which the software was trialled on a controlled set of subjects.

The solution incorporates the following features:

  • A 3D environment allowing experimenters and subjects to move around in real-time and interact with objects;
  • A drag-and-drop warehouse allowing experimenters to set up custom arenas and populate them with a range of objects including buildings, trees and vehicles;
  • Customisable terrain and skyline to explore the effects of different backgrounds on the visio-spatial pattern recognition of subjects;
  • Dialog boxes to set up detailed tasks and experiments with results recorded in a format that can be loaded into a spreadsheet for analysis.
Arena Paradigm Project

The contribution of Third Dimension to developing our 3-D navigation procedures have been highly innovative.

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Third Dimension Ltd, The Old Bank, Milborne Port, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 5AQ