Researchers at University College London have used a popular video game called Sea Hero Quest to investigate how players’ sense of direction and navigational ability typically decline over a lifetime. Analysis of the results could help dementia researchers develop a dementia diagnosis test.
Gallagher, J. (2016). Dementia game ‘shows lifelong navigational decline’. London: BBC Health News, November 17th 2016.
First data from Sea Hero Quest game revealed. [Online]: Alzheimer’s Research UK, November 16th 2016.
The Virtual Reality Enhancement
Moving the game into virtual reality, with Sea Hero Quest VR, promises to allow researchers capture 15 times richer data; in pursuit of the long-term aim of being able to detect dementia in the earliest stages. Incidentally, possible confirmation of old cultural stereotypes?
“ …men have a slightly better sense of direction than women and the Nordic nations outperform the rest of the world… ”
Gallagher, J. (2017). Virtual reality game takes on dementia. London: BBC Health News, August 29th 2017.
Projections on the Many Dimensions of Socio-Cultural Inequality
The influence of socio-cultural inequalities?
Gallagher, J. (2018). The unpleasant reason men navigate better than women. London: BBC Health News, August 9th 2018.
See also, for possible socio-cultural background confounders:
Women won’t have equality for 100 years – World Economic Forum. London: BBC World News, November 2nd 2017.
June 2019 Update
A brief narrative literature review:
Spatial navigation: a behavioural biomarker for improved dementia diagnosis? Journal of Geriatric Care and Research (JGCR). June 2019. Vol.6(1): 20-22. [Epub ahead of print].