Transfer of spatial knowledge to a two-level shopping mall in older people, following virtual exploration

N Foreman, Danae Stanton Fraser, P N Wilson, H Duffy, R Parnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Groups of older and younger participants explored a virtual shopping mall composed of more than 60 retail outlets on 2 levels. They were then compared with guessing controls for their understanding of the spatial layout of the real equivalent building. Experimental groups showed greater accuracy in making pointing judgments toward targets not visible from the pointing site, took shorter times to perform route tasks on foot, made better left-right directional judgments, and sketched better maps of the mall. Of the older participants, 2 out of 8 performed at chance throughout. Younger experimental participants remembered better than did older ones on which level targets were located. The study shows that many older people remain spatially competent and that age is not a barrier to the effective use of virtual environment technology, which may be used in the future to increase inclusion of older populations by encouraging their confident use of public buildings
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-292
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironment and Behavior
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2005

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