Neurocognitive Workload Assessment Using the Virtual Reality Cognitive Performance Assessment Test
The traditional approach to assessing neurocognitive performance makes use of paper and pencil neuropsychological assessments. This received approach has been criticized as limited in the area of ecological validity. While virtual reality environments provide increased ecological validity, they are often done without taking seriously the demands of rigorous research design and control for potentially confounding variables. The newly developed Virtual Reality Cognitive Performance Assessment Test (VRCPAT) focuses upon enhanced ecological validity using virtual environment scenarios to assess neurocognitive processing. After an assessment for potential confounds (i.e. appropriate level of immersion and performance on neuropsychological measures), the VRCPAT battery’s Attention Module (i.e. Humvee scenario) was administered to a sample of healthy adults. Findings suggest that increase in stimulus complexity and stimulus intensity can manipulate attention performance within the Attention Module.
KeywordsNeuropsychological assessment neurocognitive ecological validity virtual environment
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