HumanInsight Combining physical and virtual worlds for motor-cognitive training interventions: Position paper with guidelines on technology classification in movement-related research
Front Psychol. 2022 Dec 14;13:1009052. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.1009052. eCollection 2022.
Efficient movements require intact motor and cognitive function. There is a growing literature on motor-cognitive interventions to improve the overall quality of life of healthy or diseased older people. For such interventions, novel technological advances are crucial not only in terms of motivation but also to improve the user experience in a multi-stimuli world, usually offered as a mixture of real and virtual environments. This article provides a classification system for movement-related research dealing with motor-cognitive interventions performed in different extents of a virtual environment. The classification is divided into three categories: (a) type of digital device with the associated degree of immersiveness provided; (b) presence or absence of a human-computer interaction; and (c) activity engagement during training, defined by activity >1.5 Metabolic Equivalent of task. Since virtual reality (VR) often categorizes different technologies under the same term, we propose a taxonomy of digital devices ranging from computer monitors and projectors to head-mounted VR technology. All immersive technologies that have developed rapidly in recent years are grouped under the umbrella term Extended Reality (XR). These include augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and VR, as well as all technologies that have yet to be developed. This technology has potential not only for gaming and entertainment, but also for research, motor-cognitive training programs, rehabilitation, telemedicine, etc. This position paper provides definitions, recommendations, and guidelines for future movement-related interventions based on digital devices, human-computer interactions, and physical engagement to use terms more consistently and contribute to a clearer understanding of their implications.
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