Study shows participants recall information more in VR

A new study at the University of Maryland shows that people remembered information better when in VR versus on a desktop.

Participants were first handed a print out of faces. They they had 5 minutes to a explore a scene and remember where all the faces were located.

“Half the faces were positioned in different locations within the interior setting–Oprah Winfrey appeared at the top of a grand staircase; Stephen Hawking was a few steps down, followed by Shrek. On the ground floor, Napoleon Bonaparte’s face sat above majestic wooden table, while The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was positioned in the center of the room.”

After 5 minutes, the scene went dark for two minutes and then reappears. This time though, the faces were replaced with numbered boxes. The participants were then asked to recall what face was in each box.

After they finished answering, they were asked to remember new faces and explore another scene, but this time on a different platform. The 40 participants were split into two groups. One went that went through the study in VR first and then desktop, and another group that explored it on desktop first and then in VR. All but 2 participants said they were confident with their answers on both platforms, but preferred VR.

The results? There was an 8.8% improvement in recall accuracy when the participants used VR over desktop.

“Many of the participants said the immersive “presence” while using VR allowed them to focus better. This was reflected in the research results: 40 percent of the participants scored at least 10 percent higher in recall ability using VR over the desktop display.”

“By showing that virtual reality can help improve recall, it opens the door to further studies that look at the impact of VR-based training modules at all levels–from elementary school children learning astronomy to trauma residents acquiring the latest knowledge in lifesaving procedures. We believe the future of education and innovation will benefit greatly from the use of these new visual technologies.”

 

Why It’s Hot:

  • Shows more potential for VR as a platform for educating users

 

Links:

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/uom-pri061318.php

https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Virtual-Memory-Palaces%3A-Immersion-aids-Recall-Krokos-Varshney/a9b76f2f18f10e5305234cdc526ea13d803cbb6b