Assessing the impact of an immersive VR gaming experience on navigation ability and spatial cognition in an elderly population
This project will investigate whether playing an immersive virtual reality (VR) game called DoVille is beneficial to older adults’ memory and navigation abilities. Spatial navigation is a fundamental skill that relies on our ability to make an accurate mental map of the space around us, be aware of our position in the environment, and remember a path through that environment. These abilities are known to deteriorate in older adults, which can lead to a loss of independence and quality-of-life. Fortunately, previous studies have shown that games and enriched environments can improve spatial navigation performance. This study will measure the extent to which playing the DoVille VR game affects memory and spatial navigation in healthy older adults. Understanding the ability of accessible and fun VR games to improve these faculties is a key step in promoting healthy aging and determining the role that VR can play in that process.