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MVRC and the BNAVE

The MVRC is part of the Raymond E. Jordan Center for Balance Disorders, based in the Department of Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose and Throat) in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The goal of the MVRC is to use virtual reality to examine basic underlying factors contributing to postural control in persons with and without balance dysfunction and to explore new ways of treating balance disorders.

The centerpiece of the MVRC is a virtual reality display room that is large enough for a person to stand in and interact with different virtual environments. This room is called the BNAVE (Balance NAVE Automatic Virtual Environment) and was developed in close collaboration with the Virtual Environments Group at UNC-Charlotte and

The BNAVE uses several visual programs to generate imagery, which challenges patients' balance, most notably their Virtual Grocery Store. Patients can walk through the aisles pushing a prop-grocery cart and walking on a treadmill. Like a real grocery store, the visual stimulus is difficult for someone with balance problems. Here, they can be tested and trained in a safe environment.

The virtual grocery was authored in CaveUT, initially by PublicVR. Later, MVRC employed student interns at MVRC from the local Art Institute, an extension of the training programme PublicVR had set up with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The MVRC's institutional support (as part of the Dept. of Otoloarngology) was instrumental to the creation of CaveUT and its later development. For more information on the MVRC, go to:

MVRC Website

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