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Virtual reality games and related neurotechnologies spark a new generation of dementia & cognitive tests

The Sea Hero Quest vir­tu­al real­i­ty game is played on a Sam­sung Gear VR head­set. Source: Glitch­ers Ltd.


The Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty Game Gath­er­ing Data for Demen­tia Researchers (Bloomberg):

Nav­i­gat­ing an ice-walled lake or scour­ing a swamp for a hid­den mon­ster may sound like a fun premise for a vir­tu­al-real­i­ty video game. But there’s a seri­ous pur­pose behind the new game Sea Hero Quest VR: help­ing neu­ro­sci­en­tists design a new test for demen­tia.

Lon­don-based game design firm Glitch­ers worked with researchers from British and Swiss uni­ver­si­ties, as well as demen­tia and Alzheimer’s char­i­ties, to cre­ate Sea Hero Quest VR. Devel­op­ment of the free-to-down­load game, which is being released Tues­day for Samsung’s Gear VR head­set and Face­book Inc.’s Ocu­lus Rift, was fund­ed by Ger­man mobile car­ri­er Deutsche Telekom AG…Neuroscientists and cog­ni­tive psy­chol­o­gists will ana­lyze the data to hope­ful­ly learn more about how humans devel­op spa­tial aware­ness and nav­i­gate new envi­ron­ments. Researchers believe sub­tle degra­da­tion in these skills may be an ear­ly warn­ing sign of demen­tia and that infor­ma­tion from the game could even­tu­al­ly lead to new tests to detect cog­ni­tive impair­ment ear­li­er.”

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Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Health & Wellness, Technology

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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