Using Virtual Reality as a Research
Tim Vallier, M.M.
Research Systems Analyst
Boys Town National Research Hospital
reality research is hitting a new frontier.
We are currently on the ground floor with a group of other institutions
setting new standards for how virtual reality research should be done. We’re actually looking at kids with minimal
to mild hearing loss and how and how they react to different scenarios in the
previous study we had placed subjects in this space and had these five
television screens surrounding them and asking them to look around the space as
different visual stimuli shows up on these screens. Virtual reality allows us to match the visual
space with the audio space. We have
desks in a classroom. Chairs. We have books on the bookshelves. We have blackboards all over the room. When you’re looking at the floor or you are
looking at the surface of the desks, you might see a reflection of the light
above you or you might see a glimpse of the light that’s coming out the
window. This tells your brain that
you’re in a real environment where light is real and not in a cartoon space or
a very virtual space. What we think, is
that when you take away the distraction from the room looking different than it
sounds, that you might get a higher performance out of the subjects in this virtual
Here at Boys
Town National Research Hospital we are always looking for new ways to utilize
and implement new technology and virtual reality is something that we’re really
excited about. It allows us to expand
what we’re working on in multiple areas.
Virtual reality doesn’t discriminate between scientific focus areas so
we can do virtual reality in an auditory study just as equally as we can in a
vestibular study, and we hope that we can use that to help children and
families in our community.
Boys Town National Research Hospital is implementing virtual reality technology into certain research studies. Watch how virtual reality can improve our hearing research and help children with mild hearing loss.