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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

Print version ISSN 1645-0086


ROSA, Pedro J. et al. The use of eye tracking in non-immersive virtual reality for cognitive assessment. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2016, vol.17, n.1, pp.23-31. ISSN 1645-0086.

Attention and working memory are basic human cognitive abilities. An adequate behavioral response, due to constant changes in the environment, depends on the integrity of these abilities. When these cognitive functions are impaired, the use of virtual reality applications (VRAs) can be a reliable technique for assessing and rehabilitating these cognitive processes. However, most VRAs use indirect measures to make inferences about visual attention and mnesic processes (e.g., time to task completion, error rate). The eye tracking (ET)can offer a better alternative to probe more directly where and how attention is deployed. The eye movements of 39 healthy participants (25 Female; n= 64%), with an age average of 29,8 years old (SD= 12.2), were continuously recorded while two comparative visual search tasks, as part of a set of cognitive tasks in the Systemic Lisbon Battery (SLB), a VRA designed to assess of cognitive impairments were randomly presented. The total fixation duration, the number of visits in the areas of interest, along with the otal execution time were significantly different as a function of the Mini Mental State Examination scores. The present study demonstrates that the “spot the differences” tasks in SLB, when combined with ET, can be reliable and unobtrusive method for assessing cognitive abilities in healthy individuals with a relevant potential use in clinical samples.

Keywords : Eye tracking; eye movements; attention; memory; cognitive abilities; virtual reality; Systemic Lisbon Battery.

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