Eye–Hand Coordination Rehabilitation Research
At NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation, John-Ross (J.R.) Rizzo, MD, MSCI, is studying interactions between the neural codes that plan eye and arm movements so he can develop functional visual rehabilitation programs to improve patient outcomes.
As director of Rusk Rehabilitation’s Visuomotor Integration Laboratory, Dr. Rizzo and his team have identified the individual components of eye–hand control.
A clearer understanding of the interrelationship between eye and arm movements has enabled his labs to develop technology designed to train eye–hand coordination. Dr. Rizzo and team then looked at patients who had a stroke to see if this new technology improved eye–hand coordination after finding that their ability to accurately reach for objects was impaired.
Similar to a video game, the technology provides patients with visuospatial cues in real time. As patients gaze at an object across the table and reach for it, the technology takes precise measurements and detects when their gaze is not aligned with the center of the target. The technology then cues patients to pay attention to their eye movements, in effect, serving as a guidance system to enable patients to resynchronize their movements and improve accuracy.
The Visuomotor Integration Laboratory
The Visuomotor Integration Laboratory’s mission is to understand how eye control is integrated with arm control. This unprecedented step forward in the vastly underserved field of physiatric visual rehabilitation holds significant promise for functional independence for the visually, motorically, or visuomotorically impaired.
The laboratory serves people with acquired brain injury, including traumatic brain injury and cerebrovascular accident, or stroke, and works to provide a better understanding of dyssynergia or motor incoordination as it relates to both eye and limb control. Focusing on the sensorimotor limitations in acquired brain injury as it interfaces with vision and upper extremity task demands, the laboratory hopes to unlock diagnostic and therapeutic insights into motor recovery and rehabilitation.
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