139 | Exploring Spatial Memory Through Virtual Reality: Re-Design of RULIT memory task

Cognition, Behavior, and Memory

Author: Juan Manuel Peirano | Email: jpeirano@itba.edu.ar

Juan Manuel Peirano , Agustín Miguel , Juan Bautista González Martin , Alejo Barbuzza , Fabricio Ballarini

1° Laboratorio de Bioingeniería, Departamento de Ciencias de la Vida, Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires (ITBA), Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2° Instituto de Biología Celular y Neurociencia “Prof. E. De Robertis” (IBCN), Facultad de Medicina, UBA-CONICET, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The target of the presented research is to improve the understanding of visuospatial learning and memory. Based on a previous investigation, where the development of a gamified Ruff-Light task (G-RULIT) was created to comprehend the way people store information, it was decided to take this method to a more immersive experience with the use of Virtual Reality (VR) technology.
The G-RULIT is a weblike 2D puzzle in which the participants were asked to discover a secret unique path leading to the solution. However, this tool does not allow the investigator to establish the same condition of testing in every participant, thus significant conclusions could not be made if external stimulation was not considered. Nevertheless, with VR equipment the environment where the experiment takes place can be manipulated. Furthermore, it enhances the way the participants are exposed to a task by letting them live the experience in first person. Therefore, using the Unity 3D game engine, a 3D version of G-RULIT was developed, where the participant is now immersed in a maze-like scene instead of just seeing it on a screen.
Taking both, the 2D version and the VR version, into consideration, results obtained through experimentation will be compared to analyze which tool is more adept to understand visuospatial memory. Subsequently, same tests will be performed with modified stimulus, such as the addition of physical activity before testing to observe how it affects the subject’s performance.