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Title: An investigation into community travel patterns, navigational strategies and virtual reality route learning after an acquired brain injury
Author: Nice, Laura
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2016
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Making a simple journey may appear to require very little planning on behalf of the navigator but it, in fact, utilises multiple cognitive processes, modalities and skills, many of which may be impaired in acquired brain injury. The aim of this thesis was to explore community travel and route learning in this population through a series of studies. The first study explored changes in community travel patterns and showed a reduction in all types of journeys, particularly unaccompanied and leisure trips. Disability and anxiety played some role in the reduction in travel but not as large a role as expected. The results of this study indicated that the reduction in community travel also impacted on quality of life. A virtual environment was developed and tested for use in the final two studies. This was followed by an investigation into the use of proximal and distal landmark strategies in route learning using the virtual environment. Findings suggested that people with traumatic brain injury have more difficulty using distal landmarks than proximal landmarks when learning a route. The final study built upon these results to develop a set of procedures to test whether it was possible to improve route learning in people with traumatic brain injury. Route learning skills were assessed using the virtual environment and then their naturally chosen strategy was supplemented with an additional one in order to improve performance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry