Using virtual reality to transfer motor skill knowledge from one hand to another

Ori Ossmy, Roy Mukamel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


As far as acquiring motor skills is concerned, training by voluntary physical movement is superior to all other forms of training (e.g. training by observation or passive movement of trainee’s hands by a robotic device). This obviously presents a major challenge in the rehabilitation of a paretic limb since voluntary control of physical movement is limited. Here, we describe a novel training scheme we have developed that has the potential to circumvent this major challenge. We exploited the voluntary control of one hand and provided real-time movement-based manipulated sensory feedback as if the other hand is moving. Visual manipulation through virtual reality (VR) was combined with a device that yokes left-hand fingers to passively follow right-hand voluntary finger movements. In healthy subjects, we demonstrate enhanced within-session performance gains of a limb in the absence of voluntary physical training. Results in healthy subjects suggest that training with the unique VR setup might also be beneficial for patients with upper limb hemiparesis by exploiting the voluntary control of their healthy hand to improve rehabilitation of their affected hand.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere55965
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number127
StatePublished - 18 Sep 2017


FundersFunder number
Israeli Presidential Honorary Scholarship for Neuroscience Research
Sagol School of Neuroscience
Israel Science Foundation2043/13, 51/11, 1771/13
Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education of Israel


    • Behavior
    • Cross-education
    • Finger sequence
    • Issue 127
    • Motor learning
    • Sensory feedback
    • Virtual reality
    • Visual perception


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