Virtual Classroom

The Computational Neuropsychology and Simulation (CNS) lab has teamed up with Digital Media Works and ClinicaVR to develop and validate a virtual reality classroom for assessment of supervisory attentional processing. Much of this work is focused upon neurodevelopmental disorders impacting frontostriatal functioning (see Parsons et al., 2007; Parsons, 2014; Parsons, 2016).

Virtual Reality Augmentation of Social Skills Training for Autism

This is a novel and innovative program of research designed to examine the therapeutic applications of virtual reality technology to solve the problem of generalizability of social skills training for children with neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., ADHD; higher functioning autism). One potential means for addressing this issue is to apply advances in virtual reality (VR) technology to provide social skills practice environments for HFA children. Therefore, a major aim of a funded R21 is to bring together expertise in the study of virtual social interactions with expertise in the clinical science of autism to develop VR social skills practice tasks that may be used to augment current SST intervention methods for HFA children across a range of context (i.e. home, clinics and schools; see Parsons et al., 2007; Parsons, 2014; Parsons, 2016).

Selected Publications:

  • Parsons, T.D., Riva, G., Parsons, S., Mantovani, F., Newbutt, N., Lin, L., Venturini, E., & Hall, T. (in press). Virtual Reality in Pediatric Psychology: Benefits, Challenges, and Future Directions. Pediatrics.

  • Parsons, T.D., & Rizzo, A.A. (in press). A Virtual Classroom for Ecologically Valid Assessment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. In P. Sharkey (Ed.), Virtual Reality Technologies for Health and Clinical Applications: Psychological and Neurocognitive Interventions (pp. ##- ##), Germany: Springer-Verlag.

  • Duffield, T., Parsons, T.D., Karam, S., Otero, T., & Hall, T. (in press). Virtual Reality as an Assessment Modality with Pediatric ASD Populations: A Systematic Review. Child Neuropsychology. (PDF)

  • Parsons, T.D., & Carlew, A.R.  (2016). Bimodal Virtual Reality Stroop for Assessing Distractor Inhibition in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46, 4, 1255-1267. (PDF)

  • Parsons, T.D. (2015). Use of a Bimodal Virtual-Reality Stroop Task for Assessment of Attentional Conflict in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 30, 8.

  • Parsons, T.D. (2014). Virtual Teacher and Classroom for Assessment of Neurodevelopmental Disorders. In S. Brahnam & L.C. Jain, (Eds.), Serious Games, Alternative Realities, and Play Therapy (pp. 121- 137), Germany: Springer-Verlag. (PDF)

  • Kenny, P., Parsons, T.D., Pataki, C.S., Pato, M., St-George, C., Sugar, J., & Rizzo, A.A. (2008). Virtual Justina: A PTSD Virtual Patient for Clinical Classroom Training. Annual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine, 6, 113-118. (PDF)

  • Parsons, T.D., Bowerly, T., Buckwalter, J.G., & Rizzo, A.A. (2007). A controlled clinical comparison of attention performance in children with ADHD in a virtual reality classroom compared to standard neuropsychological methods. Child Neuropsychology, 13, 363-381. (PDF)

  • Parsons, T.D., Bamattre, J., & Rizzo, A.A. (2007). Attention Performance in Children with Autism in a Virtual Reality Classroom. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10, 6.

  • Rizzo, A., Bowerly, T., Buckwalter, J., Klimchuk, D., Mitura, R.,Parsons, T.D. (2006). A Virtual Reality Scenario for All Seasons: The Virtual Classroom. CNS Spectrums, 11, 1, 35-44. (PDF)