Danielle Levac, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Contact details (research)
Laboratoire d’Innovations Numériques, Polytechniques et Interactives en Réadaptation pour Enfants (Labo INSPIRE)
Technopôle en Réadaptation Pédiatrique
Centre de réadaptation Marie Enfant
Centre de recherche du CHU Sainte-Justine
5200, rue Bélanger Est
Montréal (Québec) H1T 1C9

Contact details (School of Rehabilitation)
T 514 343-6111, poste 7361



  • B. Sc. Physiotherapy, University of Ottawa (2001)
  • M. Sc. Rehabilitation Sciences, McMaster University (2007)
  • Ph. D. Rehabilitation Sciences, McMaster University (2012)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Motor Control Laboratory, University of Ottawa (2012-2014)

Current research projects

  • Immersive virtual reality for eye-hand coordination assessment in children with hemiplegia (American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine)
  • Enhancing transfer of motor skill learning from virtual to physical environments in children with cerebral palsy (National Institutes of Health).
  • Taking virtual reality ‘on the road’: A mobile VR system to explore motor learning in children with cerebral palsy (Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation)
  • Novel methods to quantify the affective impact of virtual reality for motor skill learning (Northeastern University)
  • Immersive virtual reality as a training modality for the development of a growth mindset in economically disadvantaged children and youth (Northeastern University)
  • Assessing the impact of changes in therapy service delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic on function, socialization, and participation of children with disabilities (Northeastern University)

Selected publications

  • Cheng, M., Anderson, M., & Levac, D. E. (2021). Performance variability during motor learning of a new balance task in a non-immersive virtual environment in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy and typically developing peers. Frontiers in Neurology, 12, 279. doi:10.3389/fneur.2021.623200
  • Levac, D. E., Huber, M. E., & Sternad, D. (2019). Learning and transfer of complex motor skills in virtual reality: a perspective review. Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation, 16(1), 121. doi:10.1186/s12984-019-0587-8
  • Rohrbach, N., Chicklis, E., & Levac, D. E. (2019). What is the impact of user affect on motor learning in virtual environments after stroke? A scoping review. Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation, 16(1), 79. doi:10.1186/s12984-019-0546-4
  • Ryan, J. L., Wright, F. V., & Levac, D. E. (2020). Exploring physiotherapists’ use of motor learning strategies in gait-based interventions for children with cerebral palsy. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 40(1), 79-92. doi:10.1080/01942638.2019.1622623
  • Levac, D. E., & Lu, A. S. (2019). Does narrative feedback enhance children’s motor learning in a virtual environment?. Journal of Motor Behavior, 51(2), 199-211. doi:10.1080/00222895.2018.1454398
  • Glegg, S. M., & Levac, D. E. (2018). Barriers, facilitators and interventions to support virtual reality implementation in rehabilitation: a scoping review. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 10(11), 1237-1251. doi:10.1016/j.pmrj.2018.07.004
  • Levac, D. E., Glegg, S. M., Colquhoun, H., Miller, P., & Noubary, F. (2017). Virtual reality and active videogame-based practice, learning needs, and preferences: A cross-Canada survey of physical therapists and occupational therapists. Games for Health Journal, 6(4), 217-228. doi:10.1089/g4h.2016.0089

To view other publications by Professor Danielle Levac on Google Scholar, click here.

Research interests

Research methodologies

  • Motor learning paradigms:  Eye tracking, kinematics and kinetics, electroencephalography, task performance measures
  • Affective reactions to immersion in a virtual environment: subjective measures, physiological data (skin conductance), video coding of behavioral and verbal indicators
  • Knowledge translation methods and strategies
  • Clinical trials
  • Scoping reviews

Research themes

  • Understanding mechanisms of learning and transfer in virtual environments
  • Developing and evaluating innovative applications of immersive virtual reality for assessment and intervention in pediatric rehabilitation
  • Working with therapists to create and disseminate knowledge translation resources to promote the evidence-based integration of virtual reality in rehabilitation
  • Developing a knowledge translation network to create best practice guidelines for virtual reality use in rehabilitation
  • Development of methodological guidelines for scoping review conduct and reporting
  • Exploring the use of immersive virtual reality to promote growth mindset development in children and youth