The virtual reality working-memory-training program (VR WORK M): Description of an individualized, integrated program

Jennyfer Ansado, Jenel Brulé, Clelia Chasen, Georg Northoff, Stéphane Bouchard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Working memory (WM), which allows us to retain information in memory during a complex task, is a cognitive function that is crucial to daily life. It can be affected by several neurological conditions, such as traumatic brain injury or stroke. Numerous studies suggest that it is possible to resolve WM deficits using targeted rehabilitation programs. Virtual reality (VR) is an innovative technology that has proven to be valuable in the evaluation and rehabilitation of cognitive functions. It potentially optimizes cognitive stimulation in a safe environment and can help improve functional activities of daily living by replicating real-life scenarios. With that in mind, this article introduces the first VR-based WM rehabilitation program. The WM training program (Virtual Reality Working-Memory-Training program, VR-WORK-M) recreates a restaurant environment where participants must complete a WM task consisting in repeating a series of items heard via a headset. The goal is to train WM by simulating a business proposal presentation. The program contains several levels of difficulty resulting from the combination of four complexity factors: (1) the type of business concerned by the proposal (e.g., opening a bakery vs. opening a flower shop); (2) the number of items to repeat (4 vs. 5 vs. 6); (3) the number of subtasks to complete before the WM task (e.g., introducing oneself vs order a drink); and (4) the modality of distractors (e.g., an auditory distractor vs. a visual distractor). VR-WORK-M includes 54 levels of difficulty to be administered in a training program over a period of four weeks, with four or five sessions per week.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-117
Number of pages17
JournalAnnual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Attentional control
  • Training
  • Virtual reality
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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