A prospective study of loss of consciousness in epilepsy using virtual reality driving simulation and other video games

Li Yang, Thomas B. Morland, Kristen Schmits, Elizabeth Rawson, Poojitha Narasimhan, Joshua E. Motelow, Michael J. Purcaro, Kathy Peng, Saned Raouf, Matthew N. DeSalvo, Taemin Oh, Jerome Wilkerson, Jessica Bod, Aditya Srinivasan, Pimen Kurashvili, Joseph Anaya, Peter Manza, Nathan Danielson, Christopher B. Ransom, Linda HuhSusan Elrich, Jose Padin-Rosado, Yamini Naidu, Kamil Detyniecki, Hamada Hamid, Pue Farooque, Robert Astur, Bo Xiao, Robert B. Duckrow, Hal Blumenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Patients with epilepsy are at risk of traffic accidents when they have seizures while driving. However, driving is an essential part of normal daily life in many communities, and depriving patients of driving privileges can have profound consequences for their economic and social well-being. In the current study, we collected ictal performance data from a driving simulator and two other video games in patients undergoing continuous video/EEG monitoring. We captured 22 seizures in 13 patients and found that driving impairment during seizures differed in terms of both magnitude and character, depending on the seizure type. Our study documents the feasibility of a prospective study of driving and other behaviors during seizures through the use of computer-based tasks. This methodology may be applied to further describe differential driving impairment in specific types of seizures and to gain data on anatomical networks disrupted in seizures that impair consciousness and driving safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-246
Number of pages9
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Computer games
  • Consciousness
  • Driving
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy
  • Single-photon-emission computed tomography
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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