The High Point University Department of Physical Therapy’s Virtual Reality and Clinical Gait Analysis Laboratory (VRCGAL) is a 2,100 square-foot laboratory located directly above the HBAPL at HPU in Congdon Hall. The VRCGAL is an innovative facility with three primary objectives: clinical research, student education and patient treatment. The state-of-the-art equipment is used to assess human motion, cognition, and visual attention with an emphasis on real-life walking in clinical populations. In addition to performing innovative research, the space is used to promote student education and involvement in research and to allow for treatment of patients with chronic musculoskeletal and neurological diagnoses.

This lab space houses a Virtual Reality GRAIL system with instrumented split-belt treadmill (Motek), 10-camera motion analysis system (Motion Analysis Corp), wireless eye tracking system (Tobii), and dynamic body weight support system (ZeroG). The GRAIL system features a 9.5-foot semi-cylindrical screen in front of the treadmill to allow for a synchronized and immersive virtual reality environment. The space contains a restroom for participants, an enclosed office space for cognitive testing or for participants to be prepared for experiments, and a computer hub for data entry and processing. The VRCGAL also is equipped with multiple systems for collection of gait, cognitive, and visual attention data in unconstrained environments and testing conditions using cutting-edge wireless technologies. Further, housed within this space is a custom-built walkway and open floor space for ecologically-valid overground walking testing. The space is fully accessible to individuals with disabilities with numerous parking spots available in two different lots adjacent to the building.

 

 

Equipment

  • Motek Gait Realtime Analysis Interactive Lab (GRAIL), virtual reality system
  • Motekforce Link Instrumented TM
  • Motion Analysis Corporation’s 10-camera, motion analysis system
  • APDM Mobility Lab and Opal Sensors
  • Aretech ZeroG Dynamic Body Weight Support
  • Ekso Exoskeleton
  • Tobii Pro Wireless Eye Tracking Glasses
  • Protokinetics Zeno Instrumented Walkway
  • ActiGraph GT9X Activity Monitors
  • StepWatch Activity Monitors
  • DirectRT Cognitive Testing Software
  • Biodex Isokinetic Dynamometer

Research Interests

  • Community Dwelling Older Adults: effects of visual attention and cognition on performance of everyday walking tasks, identifying real-world fall risk factors, and exploring early biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Individuals with Chronic Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Gait in Children with Cerebral Palsy, particularly, influences of unpredictability during walking and walking in real-life situations.