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Enhances Cognitive Control Ability for Elders via VR/AR Technology
BACKGROUND AND AIMS
It has been found that impairment in navigation ability in the elderly is one of the earliest markers of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. In my previous MOST project, Navigation Task Training Enhances Cognitive Skills that Decline with Age or Diseases, I collaborated with Taipei Medical University to investigate the brain dynamics of patients when they were navigating in a virtual-reality environment. Navigation is a fundamental and multifaceted human ability involving complex cognitive functions that allow the exploration of new environments as well as fast and efficient negotiation of well-known space. Spatial abilities undergo an apparent decline across the life span; older adults commonly lose their way and engage in fewer out-of-home activities, leading to reduced mobility and quality of life. It is thus particularly urgent for an ever-aging society to develop some technology to promote health.
Many cognitive assessment methodologies and training paradigms have been proposed to tackle this problem, e.g. our previous work and a Nature paper. These works show that cognitive control ability, as reflected by EEG local and global coherence, can be assessed and remediated by training in goal-directed multitasking. Additionally, recent advances in AR shows a promising and portable headset solution to use in an everyday basis. I am planning to integrate EEG and AR with the multitasking contents to help elders prevent cognitive impairment.
Virtuix Omnidirectional Treadmill
This new and unique equipment, Virtuix Omnidirectional Treadmill, enables people to walk, run, and jump in any direction around virtual world that providing endless VR walking experience. We believe that this platform can offer a good opportunity to expand our knowledge in relation to natural human behaviors as well as subjects in the area of real-world brain dynamics if equiped with neuroimaging tools such as EEG. More information: https://www.youtube.com/user/VirtuixOmni