Is Computerized and VR Cognitive Remediation Effective for Cognition and Everyday Functions? A Systematic Review for Adults with Acquired Brain Injury

Noga Katz, NYU, New York, United States
Chloe Orellana, NYU, New York, United States
Zane Sicadsicad, NYU, New York, United States
Isabel Soriano, NYU, New York, United States
Katherine Tarazona, NYU, New York, United States
Amy Ransohoff Brisson, NYU, New York, United States


Cognitive rehabilitation has been shown to improve specific areas of cognitive functions for persons with ABI and became a standard component of neurorehabilitation. The benefits of technology-enhanced cognitive remediation interventions are unclear. This systematic review evaluated the effectiveness of technology-enhanced interventions on the cognition and function of adults with ABIs. Findings can help practitioners incorporate the application of evidence-based technology-enhanced interventions in clinical practice.

Participants and Methods:

The search was conducted, using four databases: PubMed, CINAHL, Web of Science, and PsycNET via PsycINFO, which resulted in 5,236 articles, and 3,980 remained after duplicates were removed. Eligibility followed inclusion and exclusion criteria as follows: inclusion- adults, ABI, cognition, cognitive remediation, computer-assisted therapy, video games, VR, and randomized /nonrandomized trials. 2002-2022; exclusion- children, neurodevelopmental conditions, telehealth, assistive-tech, non-technological, non-cognitive, qualitative/reviews, year<2002. One hundred and ten articles were retrieved for a full-text review, and finally, 48 articles were selected for inclusion. Two reviewers assessed the quality and strength of the evidence, and conflicts were resolved by a third reviewer. The review was pre-registered with PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews.


Effects of technology-enhanced cognitive remediation approaches fell into six broad categories: attention and working memory, memory, processing speed, executive functions, global cognition, visuospatial; and the impact on everyday functions and psychosocial health. The review revealed high-quality evidence of significant improvements in cognitive and functional outcomes of many domains post-training. Strong evidence was identified for Cogmed QM, Rehacom, and Comcog computerized interventions for improving working memory and ADL performance.


Level 1 and level 2 evidence emerged of the effectiveness of computer-based, virtual reality, robotics, and video games technology-enhanced cognitive remediation delivery methods for improving cognition and functional outcomes of adults with ABIs. Based on the critical appraisal of the findings, practitioners may consider adding technology-enhanced cognitive interventions to practice when treating adults following ABI.

Category: Cognitive Intervention/Rehabilitation

Keyword 1: activities of daily living
Keyword 2: cognitive functioning
Keyword 3: brain injury