2009 Winter Editorial

Journal of CyberTherapy & Rehabilitation

Winter 2009, Volume 2, Issue 4



Welcome to the Winter 2009 issue of the Journal of Cy- berTherapy & Rehabilitation (JCR). We are pleased to bring this special issue of our publication to readers, critics and researchers around the world. Our peer-re- viewed academic journal explores the uses of advanced technologies for therapy, training, education, prevention and rehabilitation. JCR is a quarterly published aca- demic journal, unique in the fact that it focuses on the rapidly expanding worldwide trend of applying ground- breaking technology towards the field of healthcare. Psychiatry, psychology, physical medicine and rehabil- itation, neurorehabilitation, oncology, obesity, eating disorders and autism continue to be main areas of inter- est studied by JCR.

Since our inaugural issue, JCR has received interna- tional attention from peers, international institutions and international conferences. A common thirst for new knowledge and application of cutting-edge technolo- gies to better the lives of others brings this diverse group of people towards a similar goal. Advanced tech- nologies, such as robotics, adaptive displays, E-health, virtual reality (VR) and non-invasive physiological monitoring are now applied to many diverse fields of healthcare. As this body of research is added to, pa- tients, doctors and therapists can look towards a hopeful future and new ways to treat mental and physical dis- orders. Within this issue of JCR, we present compre- hensive review articles submitted by preeminent scholars in the field. The content is diverse, featuring such topics as VR immersions, the effects of video game playing and even online forums to treat sufferers of disease.

This special issue of JCR includes three full papers, as well as all presented abstracts, written by presenters from the “Beyond Brain Machine Interface: Motor, Cognitive and Virtual” pre-conference workshop, held September 2, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The conference, co-organized by the Army Research Office, IEEE EMBS and the Interactive Media Institute, edu- cated attendees on more efficient and intuitive ways of achieving system control than manual manipulation and allowed for discourse among academics, members of the scientific community, biomedical device engineers and the clinician user community. Scientists from five different countries and ten diverse institutions gathered to discuss these technologies and developments in their fields of research, and gave formal presentations on their papers.

In this issue’s first article Cai, Milcent and Franco ex- plore the human-machine visual digest system by fo- cusing on the relationship between gaze and object. They describe ways to better utilize network bandwidth and in turn, minimize the resulting media footprint by combining human vision and machine vision.

Next, Scherer et al. discuss brain-computer interface re- search using EEG and ECoG-based paradigms that are presented to the reader, along with ways to improve in- formation transfer rates. Different BCI projects are dis- cussed, such as an anatomically correct testbed for a human hand model.

In the following article, Raspelli et al. conduct further research on the Multiple Errands Test, applying virtual reality to assess executive functions in patients suffer- ing from Parkinson’s disease and stroke.

In the fourth manuscript, Pallavicini et al. report find- ings on a study to treat sufferers of Generalized Anxiety Disorder using biofeedback, virtual reality and mobile phones. The use of mobile phones allowed patients to continue treatment in an outpatient setting and ad- dresses the classic problem associated with VR ther- apy–the lack of mobility for the treatment system.

Gras, Hummer and Hine, in the fifth manuscript, com- pare the reliability and validity of the Nintendo Wii Fit to the widely used NeuroCom EquiTest, to measure bal- ance and help rehabilitate patients.

Lastly, Cantelmi and Talli explain the psychological and psychopathological risks associated with overuse of the Internet, including the problems associated with defining a relevant syndrome, possible diagnostic cri- teria and possible therapies for treatment.

This issue of JCR will continue to explore the ways in which healthcare, in Europe and worldwide, can benefit from the applications of technology. I would like to sin- cerely thank the contributing authors for their inspiring work and dedication to this field of research. I also want to thank JCR’s Associate Editors – Professor Botella, Professor Bouchard, Professor Gamberini and Professor Riva for their leadership and hard work, as well as our internationally renowned Editorial Board for their contributions. We encourage readers and subscribers to con- tact us with ideas and manuscripts. Your input continues to enrich our publication. Looking to 2010, we are op- timistic as this diverse field continues to grow and at- tract those wishing to learn more and those already supporting and implementing new technologies. With only more room to grow, we will continue to bring you news of further developments in the upcoming year.


Brenda K. Wiederhold, Ph.D., MBA, BCIA

Editor-in-Chief, Journal of CyberTherapy & Rehabilitation

Virtual Reality Medical Institute