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Ryan Charles Luke and Jaye K. Luke

At many institutions introductory exercise physiology courses are required for all kinesiology students. The laboratory portion of these courses usually involves development of knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) connected with content presented in lecture. Due to scalability issues, the Kinesiology Department at California State University Monterey Bay cannot offer traditional laboratory experiences. Therefore, online and hybrid laboratory experiences were created to provide similar opportunities for students, address scalability issues, and enhance student engagement and learning. Creation of these carefully crafted laboratory experiences allowed instructors to (a) highlight and explain key foundational principles, (b) provide experiences involving practical application of material presented in lecture, and (c) present students with additional learning experiences while maintaining high learner expectations. The following article outlines the process used to create these virtual laboratory experiences for students in an undergraduate introductory exercise physiology course.

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Kathryn Mills, Aula Idris, Thu-An Pham, John Porte, Mark Wiggins and Manolya Kavakli

is that these studies used internally focused feedback, that is, participants focused on their knee position. Benjaminse et al 13 argue that this method of feedback may interfere with the natural coordination of the movement and automaticity of the skill. Virtual reality (VR) may be provide a

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Stewart T. Cotterill

In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in virtual-reality (VR) applications across a broad range of performance domains. This interest has, in part, been driven by significant advancements in the technology available in terms of hardware, software, and, crucially, computer processing

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Amanda L. Snyder, Cay Anderson-Hanley and Paul J. Arciero

Grounded in social facilitation theory, this study compared the impact on exercise intensity of a virtual versus a live competitor, when riding a virtual reality-enhanced stationary bike (“cybercycle”). It was hypothesized that competitiveness would moderate effects. Twenty-three female college students were exposed to three conditions on a cybercycle: solo training, virtual competitor, and live competitor. After training without a competitor (solo condition for familiarization with equipment), participants competed against a virtual avatar or live rider (random order of presentation). A repeated-measures analysis revealed a significant condition (virtual/live) by competitiveness (high/low) interaction for exercise intensity (watts). More competitive participants exhibited significantly greater exercise intensity when competing against a live versus virtual competitor. The implication is that live competitors can have an added social facilitation effect and influence exercise intensity, although competitiveness moderates this effect.

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Rachel Proffitt, Belinda Lange, Christina Chen and Carolee Winstein

The purpose of this study was to explore the subjective experience of older adults interacting with both virtual and real environments. Thirty healthy older adults engaged with real and virtual tasks of similar motor demands: reaching to a target in standing and stepping stance. Immersive tendencies and absorption scales were administered before the session. Game engagement and experience questionnaires were completed after each task, followed by a semistructured interview at the end of the testing session. Data were analyzed respectively using paired t tests and grounded theory methodology. Participants preferred the virtual task over the real task. They also reported an increase in presence and absorption with the virtual task, describing an external focus of attention. Findings will be used to inform future development of appropriate game-based balance training applications that could be embedded in the home or community settings as part of evidence-based fall prevention programs.

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Jason P. Mihalik, Luv Kohli and Mary C. Whitton

Context:

Virtual reality environments may allow researchers to investigate functional balance performance without risks associated with testing in the real world.

Objective:

To investigate the effects of the mass of a head-mounted display (HMD) on balance performance.

Design:

Counterbalanced pretest-posttest.

Setting:

Virtual reality laboratory.

Participants:

20 healthy college students.

Intervention(s):

Balance Error Scoring System (BESS) with a tracker-only headband and again with tracker plus HMD was performed.

Main Outcome Measures:

BESS error scores, elliptical sway area, and center of pressure travel distance were recorded.

Results:

No effect of the HMD mass on balance performance was observed. A significant stance by surface interaction was present but was negated when the HMD conditions were included in the model.

Conclusions:

The mass of a HMD has not been proven to adversely affect balance performance. These data suggest the HMD mass is not a contraindication to the use of immersive virtual environments in future concussion research involving balance.

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Nancy Hamilton

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Yi-An Chen, Yu-Chen Chung, Rachel Proffitt, Eric Wade and Carolee Winstein

Attention during exercise is known to affect performance; however, the attentional demand inherent to virtual reality (VR)-based exercise is not well understood. We used a dual-task paradigm to compare the attentional demands of VR-based and non-VR-based (conventional, real-world) exercise: 22 older adults (with no diagnosed disabilities) performed a primary reaching task to virtual and real targets in a counterbalanced block order while verbally responding to an unanticipated auditory tone in one third of the trials. The attentional demand of the primary reaching task was inferred from the voice response time (VRT) to the auditory tone. Participants’ engagement level and task experience were also obtained using questionnaires. The virtual target condition was more attention demanding (significantly longer VRT) than the real target condition. Secondary analyses revealed a significant interaction between engagement level and target condition on attentional demand. For participants who were highly engaged, attentional demand was high and independent of target condition. However, for those who were less engaged, attentional demand was low and depended on target condition (i.e., virtual > real). These findings add important knowledge to the growing body of research pertaining to the development and application of technology-enhanced exercise for older adults and for rehabilitation purposes.

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Anna M. Chudyk, Meghan Winters, Erin Gorman, Heather A. McKay and Maureen C. Ashe

The authors investigated the use of Google Earth’s Street View option to audit the presence of built environment features that support older adults’ walking. Two raters conducted virtual (Street View) and in-the-field audits of 48 street segments surrounding urban and suburban assisted living sites in metropolitan Vancouver, BC, Canada. The authors determined agreement using absolute agreement. Their findings indicate that Street View may identify the presence of features that promote older adults’ walking, including sidewalks, benches, public washrooms, and destinations. However, Street View may not be as reliable as in-the-field audits to identify details associated with certain items, such as counts of trees or street lights; presence, features, and height of curb cuts; and sidewalk continuity, condition, and slope. Thus, the appropriateness of virtual audits to identify microscale built environment features associated with older adults’ walking largely depends on the purpose of the audits—specifically, whether the measurer seeks to capture highly detailed features of the built environment.

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Moeko Ueno, Ichiro Uchiyama, Joseph J. Campos, David I. Anderson, Minxuan He and Audun Dahl

Infants show a dramatic shift in postural and emotional responsiveness to peripheral lamellar optic flow (PLOF) following crawling onset. The present study used a novel virtual moving room to assess postural compensation of the shoulders backward and upward and heart rate acceleration to PLOF specifying a sudden horizontal forward translation and a sudden descent down a steep slope in an infinitely long virtual tunnel. No motion control conditions were also included. Participants were 53 8.5-month-old infants: 25 prelocomotors and 28 hands-and-knees crawlers. The primary findings were that crawling infants showed directionally appropriate postural compensation in the two tunnel motion conditions, whereas prelocomotor infants were minimally responsive in both conditions. Similarly, prelocomotor infants showed nonsignificant changes in heart rate acceleration in the tunnel motion conditions, whereas crawling infants showed significantly higher heart rate acceleration in the descent condition than in the descent control condition, and in the descent condition than in the horizontal translation condition. These findings highlight the important role played by locomotor experience in the development of the visual control of posture and in emotional reactions to a sudden optically specified drop. The virtual moving room is a promising paradigm for exploring the development of perception–action coupling.