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Health  2016 

Comparison of Developmental Stages in Relation to Way Finding Behavior in an Immersive Virtual Reality Space

DOI: 10.4236/health.2016.85052, PP. 487-494

Keywords: Virtual Reality, Way Finding, Developmental Disability, Spatial Cognition

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Abstract:

To establish a proper evaluation method for spatial cognitive deficits and a form of developmental disorder, we have used an immersive virtual reality (VR) device to develop a game that involves actually walking through a VR space to search for a target object. In this paper, we presented the results of control experiment with 22 healthy elementary school students as participants. The complexity of the VR space was controlled according to the number of pillars present and whether an overall view was possible (controlled by the height of the pillars). For each set of conditions, 24 trials were performed, and the route and time taken to search for the target were recorded. The starting point was changed in each subsequent trial. Results showed that the search time decreased as the number of trials increase, suggesting a process whereby a cognitive map was formed. We also compared the present results to results from our previous experiment with university students using the same experimental conditions, and we discussed the influence of developmental stage on spatial cognition.

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