A Virtual Meal-Making Environment as a Platform to Measure the Effect of Affective Stimuli on Emotional Response and Task Performance in Children with and without Cerebral Palsy
Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Haifa, Israel
(2) Faculty of Medicine, Technion, Israel
(3) Child Developmental Center, Bnai-Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel
The study examined whether a functional virtual environment (VE) may be used to provide affective stimuli (AS) that lead to changes in the emotional responses and task performance of children with and without cerebral palsy (CP). Fifteen children with CP and 19 typically developing (TD) peers (6 to 12 years) prepared seven virtual meals in a predefined order within the Emotional Meal-Maker (EMM), a virtual meal-making VE, run on a 2D video capture VR platform. Six meals included either a negative, positive, or neutral visual stimuli, selected from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS). Heart rate (HR) and skin conductance were recorded online, synchronized with stimulus onset. Significant differences were found between groups in task performance and heart rate variability (HRV) components, e.g., higher low frequency (LF)/ high frequency (HF) ratio in CP during the EMM task (U=2517.5, p<001), regardless of type of AS. No significant changes in autonomic responses as a function of AS were found. The implications of these results are discussed.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2011