Jan 29, 2015
The Goods on Gaming

Presenter: Stacy Fritz, PhD, PT
Title: Video Gaming and Brain Function: A Researcher’s Perspective
Date: Saturday, June 20, 2009
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Video gaming is prevalent among the general population, including athletes. Athletic trainers often look at ways to present innovative techniques into rehabilitation, and this presentation explores the use of various types of video gaming as a rehabilitation device. Video Gaming and Brain Function: A Researcher’s Perspective focuses on a researcher’s perspective of video games use and the possible influence of gaming on not only balance and coordination but also neural plasticity.

Key Points:

  • Understanding the importance of repetition for motor gains and resultant neural plasticity.
  • Understanding that gaming as an intervention is a new tool, with little research to prove efficacy at this point.
  • Effecting compliance may be strongest attribute of interactive games.

Benefits the Most:
Athletic trainers interested in learning about the possibilities of using gaming in research or clinical applications.

Since 2004, Fritz has been on the faculty at the University of South Carolina and is currently the Director of the Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Laboratory, focusing on improving chronic disability that remains after people suffer a neurological insult. Fritz’s career began in 1997 as a traveling physical therapist after receiving a Bachelor of Health Science and Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Kentucky.

While working among the acute care, rehabilitation, and outpatient orthopedics environment, Fritz’s interest in selective intervention as a rehabilitation tool rose, leading her to pursue a doctoral degree in rehabilitation science at the University of Florida in 1999. Her work today includes investigating the use of interactive video games for the recovery of balance and mobility in individuals with chronic stroke, as currently, few traditional rehabilitation methods have been proven effective in remediation of chronic disability and impairments associated with stroke.

The Robert-Wood Johnson Foundation funds Fritz’s study, and other research performed at the Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Laboratory is funded by National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, and the South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund.

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