Serious Games | Department of Psychology

Serious Games

While standard neuropsychological measures have been found to have adequate predictive value, their ecological validity may diminish predictions about real-world functioning (see Parsons, 2015a). Additionally, standard neurocognitive batteries tend to examine isolated components of neuropsychological ability, which may not accurately reflect distinct cognitive domains (Parsons et al., 2004; 2005, 2015b).

Virtual reality is an advanced computer interface that allows humans to become immersed within a computer-generated simulation (see Parsons, 2015a, 2015b). Virtual reality applications have been found to have promise for virtual environment-based neurocognitive assessment (Parsons, 2011a, 2014, 2015a, 2015b; Parsons, McPherson, & Interrante, 2013), virtual reality exposure therapy (Parsons & Rizzo, 2008a; Parsons, 2015c), pain management (Parsons & Trost, 2014; Trost and Parsons, 2014), and rehabilitation (Parsons et al., 2009a).

Virtual Environment-Based Neurocognitive Assessment

Much of Dr. Parsons's work has focused upon assessment of that focus on component cognitive processes, including (for an overview, see Parsons, 2015a, 2015b):

Much of Dr. Parsons's current work extends these earlier virtual environments into more sophisticated systems that have extensive logging capabilities and are adaptive virtual environments, wherein the virtual environment changes (i.e. adapts) relative to the user's processing of infomation (see here and see Parsons & Reinebold, 2012).

Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy

For an overview of affective outcomes of virtual reality exposure therapy for anxiety and specific phobias (Parsons, 2015; Parsons & Rizzo, 2008a), For publications on virtual reality exposure therapy for pain, see Parsons & Trost, 2014; Trost and Parsons, 2014. General publications related to virtual reality exposure therapy include:

  • Parsons, T.D. (2015). Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy for Anxiety and Specific Phobias. In Mehdi Khosrow-Pour (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Third Edition (pp. 288- 296), Hershey: IGI Global. (PDF)

  • ยทParsons, T.D., & Trost, Z. (2014). Virtual Reality Graded Exposure Therapy as Treatment for Pain-Related Fear and Disability in Chronic Pain. In M. Ma, (Ed.), Virtual and Augmented Reality in Healthcare (pp. 523-546), Germany: Springer-Verlag. (PDF)

  • Trost, Z. , & Parsons, T.D. (2014). Beyond Distraction: Virtual Reality Graded Exposure Therapy as Treatment for Pain-Related Fear and Disability in Chronic Pain. Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research, 19, 106-126. (PDF)

  • Buckwalter, J.G., Rizzo, A., John, B., Newman, B., Williams, J., & Parsons, T.D. (2012). STRIVE: Stress Resilience in Virtual Environments. Proceedings of IEEE Virtual Reality Conference. Costa Mesa, CA, March 5, 2012. (PDF)

  • Rizzo, A., Buckwalter, J., Williams, J., Parsons, T.D., & Kenny, P. (2012). Stress Resilience In Virtual Environments (STRIVE): A Pre-Deployment VR System for Training Combat Relevant Emotional Coping Skills and Assessing Stress Response. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 173, 379-385. (PDF)

  • Rizzo, A.A., Parsons, T.D., Lange, B., Patrick Kenny, Buckwalter, J.G., Rothbaum, B.O., Difede, J., Frazier, J., Newman, B., Williams, J., & Reger, G. (2011). Virtual Reality Goes to War: A Brief Review of the Future of Military Behavioral Healthcare. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 18, 176-187. (PDF)

  • Rizzo, A.A., Graap, K., Mclay, R.N., Rothbaum, B.O., Difede, J., Reger, G., Perlman, K., Gahm, G., Johnston, S., Deal, W., Spitalnick, J., Bordnick, P., Parsons, T.D., & Pyne, J. (2011). Clinical Results from a Virtual Iraq PTSD Exposure Therapy Application. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics. (PDF)

  • Yeh, S-C, Newman, B. Liewer, M., Pair, J. Treskunov, A., Parsons, T.D., Reger, G., Spitalnick, J., Rothbaum, B.O., & Rizzo, A.A. (2010). Application Development and Clinical Results from a Virtual Iraq System for the Treatment of Iraq War PTSD. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. (PDF)

  • Kenny, P., Parsons, T.D., Rothbaum, B.O., Difede, J., Reger, G., & Rizzo, A.A. (2009). Optimizing Clinical Training for the Treatment of PTSD using Virtual Patients. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics. 144, 264-8. (PDF)

  • Rizzo, A.A. Difede, J., Rothbaum, B.O., Johnston, S., Mclay, R.N., Reger, G., Gahm, G., Parsons, T.D., Graap, K., and Pair, J. (2009). Virtual Reality Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Exposure Therapy Results with Active Duty OIF/OEF Combatants. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 142, 277-282. (PDF)

  • Rizzo, A.A. Graap, K,, Perlman, K., Mclay, R.N., Rothbaum, B.O., Reger, G., Parsons, T.D., Difede, J., and Pair, J. (2008). Virtual Iraq: Initial Results from a VRET Application for Combat-Related PTSD. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 132, 420-425. (PDF)

  • Parsons, T.D., & Rizzo, A.A. (2008). Affective Outcomes of Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy for Anxiety and Specific Phobias: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 39, 250-261. (PDF)

  • Kenny, P., Parsons, T.D., Pataki, C.S., Pato, M., St-George, C., Sugar, J., & Rizzo, A.A. (2008). Virtual Justina: A PTSD Virtual Patient for Clinical Classroom Training. Annual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine, 6, 113-118. (PDF)

  • Kenny, P., Parsons, T.D., Gratch, J., & Rizzo, A.A. (2008). Evaluation of Justina: A Virtual Patient with PTSD. Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, 5208, 394-408 (PDF).

  • Rizzo, A.A., Rothbaum, B.O., Difede, J., Graap, K., Reger, G., Gahm, G., McLay, R., Perlman, K., Pyne, J., Deal, R., Pair, J., Parsons, T.D., Roy, M., & Shilling, R. (2008). Virtual Iraq: VR PTSD Exposure Therapy with Active Duty Iraq War Combatants. Annual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine, 6, 158-163. (PDF)

Virtual Reality for Rehabilitation

  • Parsons, T.D., Rizzo, A.A., Rogers, S.A., & York, P. (2009). Virtual Reality in Pediatric Rehabilitation: A Review. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 12, 224-238. (PDF).

  • Yeh, S-C, Rizzo, A.A., McLaughlin, M., Parsons, T.D. (2007). Virtual Reality Enhanced Upper Extremity Motor Training for Post-Stroke Rehabilitation: Task Design, Clinical Experiment and Visualization on Performance and Progress. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 125, 506-511. (PDF)

  • Yeh, S-C, Stewart, J., McLaughlin, M., Parsons, T.D., Winstein, C.J., Rizzo, A.A. (2007). Evaluation Approach for Post-Stroke Rehabilitation via Virtual Reality Aided Motor Training. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 4566, 378-387. (PDF)

  • Rizzo, A.A., Yeh, S-C., Wang, C., Parsons, T.D., & Sawchuk, A.A. (2007). StarTour: A Low Cost Webcam Tracking System for Home-Based VR Motor Tele-Rehabilitation. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10, 6.

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