Two new virtual reality tasks for the assessment of spatial orientation Preliminary results of tolerability, sense of presence and usability
Abstract Spatial orientation is a cognitive domain frequently impaired in Alzheimer's Disease and can be one of its earliest symptoms. Objective: This paper describes the results of tolerability, sense of presence and usability of two immersive virtual reality tasks for the assessment of spatial orientation, using VR headset in adults. Methods: 31 healthy adults recruited from university and the local community performed two experimental immersive virtual reality tasks of spatial orientation: the SOIVET-Maze for the assessment of allocentric to egocentric spatial abilities and the SOIVET-Route for the assessment of spatial memory and landmark recognition. Participants completed questionnaires about sense of presence, cybersickness symptoms, technology use profile and motion sickness history. Usability measures were assessed by spontaneous feedback from participants. Results: All participants were able to understand the task instructions and how to interact with the system. Both tasks seemed to induce a strong sense of presence, as assessed by the Witmer and Singer Presence Questionnaires (M=128 and 143 for SOIVET-Maze and SOIVET-Route, respectively). The SOIVET-Route had a small numeric advantage over the SOIVET-Maze tolerability scores assessed by the Cybersickness Questionnaire (M=4.19, SD=5.576 and M=3.52, SD=6.418 for SOIVET-Maze and SOIVET-Route respectively). Also, there were no drop-outs on the SOIVET-Route due to tolerability issues, unlike the SOIVET-Maze, which had two drop-outs. However, this difference was not statistically significant (Z= -.901, p= 0.368, Wilcoxon signed-rank test).