“Abstract Virtual Environments for Assessing Cognitive Abilities”

  • ©Matthew Rizzo




    Abstract Virtual Environments for Assessing Cognitive Abilities



    We describe the design and pilot testing of abstract virtual environments (VE) for evaluating decision-making in neurologically impaired subjects. Instead of striving for visual realism, the VEs provide abstract representations of the necessary visual cues in a single screen setting. Pilot testing using this design strategy was conducted in 50 subjects: 28 had neurological impairments causing impaired decision-making (26 with focal brain lesions, 2 with Alzheimer’s disease) and 22 were neurologically normal. Preliminary results are promising, suggesting that abstract VEs can distinguish decision-making impaired people where traditional neurological test batteries may not [1].


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