Dr. Mahya Beheshti is a physician scientist at NYU Langone Health’s Rusk Rehabilitation Institute. She has been working at the Visuomotor Integration Laboratory with the focus on eye-hand coordination research as it relates to acquired brain injury. She also collaborates with the Rehabilitation Engineering Alliance and Center Transforming Low Vision Laboratory where her research involves advanced wearables for sensory deprived patients. Additionally, she is a Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering PhD student at NYU-Tandon.
Dr. J.R. Rizzo also is a physician scientist at NYU Langone Health’s Rusk Rehabilitation Institute. He serves as Director of Innovation and Technology for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with cross-appointments in the Department of Neurology and the Departments of Biomedical & Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NYU-Tandon. He also is the Associate Director of Healthcare for the renowned NYU Wireless Laboratory in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NYU-Tandon. He leads both the Visuomotor Integration Laboratory and the Rehabilitation Engineering Alliance and Center Transforming Low Vision Laboratory.This is a two-part series. In Part 1, they discuss: how the ability to conduct research has been affected by the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic; possible reluctance of patients to be involved in research that occurs in a clinical setting because of a fear of contracting COVID-19 there; the extent to which delays and postponements have occurred because of disease resurgences; how COVID-19 limitations on touch and physical contact have led to unintended yet significant challenges to spatial perception, interpretation, and behavior for individuals who are blind or visually impaired; the effectiveness of gloves, hand sanitizers, and hand washing in reducing the risk of touching contaminated surfaces and what, if any downsides, would be associated with such practices; and how the the Visually Impaired Smart Service System for Spatial Intelligence and Onboard Navigation operates.