Applied interdisciplinary concepts for designing visual media within interactive neurorehabilitation systems
As the application of interactive media systems expands to address broader problems in health, education and creative practice, they fall within a higher dimensional space for which it is inherently more complex to design. In response to this need an emerging area of interactive system design, referred to as experiential media systems, applies hybrid knowledge synthesized across multiple disciplines to address challenges relevant to daily experience. Interactive neurorehabilitation (INR) aims to enhance functional movement therapy by integrating detailed motion capture with interactive feedback in a manner that facilitates engagement and sensorimotor learning for those who have suffered neurologic injury. While INR shows great promise to advance the current state of therapies, a cohesive media design methodology for INR is missing due to the present lack of substantial evidence within the field. Using an experiential media based approach to draw knowledge from external disciplines, this dissertation proposes a compositional framework for authoring visual media for INR systems across contexts and applications within upper extremity stroke rehabilitation. The compositional framework is applied across systems for supervised training, unsupervised training, and assisted reflection, which reflect the collective work of the Adaptive Mixed Reality Rehabilitation (AMRR) Team at Arizona State University, of which the author is a member. Formal structures and a methodology for applying them are described in detail for the visual media environments designed by the author. Data collected from studies conducted by the AMRR team to evaluate these systems in both supervised and unsupervised training contexts is also discussed in terms of the extent to which the application of the compositional framework is supported and which aspects require further investigation. The potential broader implications of the proposed compositional framework and methodology are the dissemination of interdisciplinary information to accelerate the informed development of INR applications and to demonstrate the potential benefit of generalizing integrative approaches, merging arts and science based knowledge, for other complex problems related to embodied learning.