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Prior research suggests that both exergaming and virtual reality (VR)-based training programs could improve executive functions in older adults. However, few studies investigated whether combining exergaming with VR would be more effective. This study seeks to (a) investigate whether playing exergames in an immersive virtual environment (IVE) would yield differential outcomes in selected executive functions, including inhibition, task switching, and working, and (b) examine the role of feeling of presence as a potential mediator between immersive exergaming and cognitive improvement in specific domains. Thirty-three participants over 50 years of age (mean age = 62) participated in a 4-week training program and were randomly assigned into an IVE and non-IVE to play an exergame (Fruit Ninja) for eight sessions within 4 weeks. The results revealed a significant effect of the IVE on the Stroop Test and Trail Making Test after the 4-week training. Furthermore, the impacts of the IVE exergaming on these two tasks were mediated by the feeling of presence. These findings suggested that the immersive experience of exergaming would elicit the feeling of presence, which later contributes to improved cognitive performances in inhibition and task switching. For the theoretical implications, this study extends previous research by showing that (a) feeling of presence could contribute to older adults' cognitive improvement, and (b) the impacts of immersive exergame training on executive functions vary across individual domains. Additionally, this study provides practical implications such that the design of exergames could emphasize the game features requiring mental simulation, which can serve as a novel strategy for preventing cognitive decline in midlife and old age.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Cyberpsychology, behavior and social networking
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A set of cognitive functions that controls complex, goal-directed thought and behavior. Executive function involves multiple domains, such as CONCEPT FORMATION, goal management, cognitive flexibility, INHIBITION control, and WORKING MEMORY. Impaired executive function is seen in a range of disorders, e.g., SCHIZOPHRENIA; and ADHD.
Using computer technology to create and maintain an environment and project a user's physical presence in that environment allowing the user to interact with it.
A direct form of psychotherapy based on the interpretation of situations (cognitive structure of experiences) that determine how an individual feels and behaves. It is based on the premise that cognition, the process of acquiring knowledge and forming beliefs, is a primary determinant of mood and behavior. The therapy uses behavioral and verbal techniques to identify and correct negative thinking that is at the root of the aberrant behavior.
A neuropsychological test designed to assess different memory functions. It may incorporate an optional cognitive exam (Brief Cognitive Status Exam) that helps to assess memory related cognitive function.
Geriatrics is the branch of medicine that is concerned with the diagnosis and management of diseases and disorders that occur in old age. A specialty is required because of the frequency of co-morbidities in these patients and the reduced strength of the...