Virtual environments in psychology.

Foreman, Nigel (2005) Virtual environments in psychology. In: British and East European Psychology Group International Meeting, 11-14 Sep 2005, Krakow, Poland.

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Virtual environments (VEs) were relatively new at the time of the last B&EEPG meeting. There were many hopes for their introduction and use in various areas of psychology including clinical and educational spatial cognition (testing and training). In the period since 1995 these areas have been well researched, and various advantages and drawbacks recognised. There have been developments in areas such as training in schools and special needs applications (see Foreman et al, JEP [Applied], 9, 2003). In a recent study with older people, Foreman et al (Environment and Behaviour, 37, 2005) have shown that 75% of a sample of people aged 62-82 years were able to use a virtual shopping mall to get acquainted with the spatial layout of the real equivalent (as judged from spatial pointing and errand task performance in the real mall). The performance of the competent participants in the older group was equivalent to that of undergraduate students. In other studies, distances have been found to be underestimated in VEs, though to a greater degree in females than in males (Foreman et al, Cyberpsychology & Behaviour, 7, 2004). Males perform better in spatial VE tasks though this seems largely due to their greater computer familiarity. VE testing in patients with closed head injury revealed deficits comparable to those revealed by real world tasks, though in patients with early Parkinsons Disease, VE testing revealed an absence of deficits on navigational tasks but poor performance where mental rotational skills were required.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas:A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
ID Code:6127
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Deposited On:17 Jun 2010 06:52
Last Modified:05 Oct 2015 15:51

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