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Yongwoo Lee, Wonjae Choi, Kyeongjin Lee, Changho Song and Seungwon Lee

; Iwamoto et al., 2009 ). However, a simple exercise may become monotonous or boring to older adults. Alternatively, augmented reality, virtual reality, and video-game-based training are available ( de Bruin, Schoene, Pichierri, & Smith, 2010 ; Duque et al., 2013 ). In particular, previous studies have

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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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Anat V. Lubetzky, Daphna Harel, Helene Darmanin and Ken Perlin

normal and abnormal responses to changing visual cues with eyes open in situations relevant to daily living ( Jeka et al., 2006 ). In the past few years, there have been substantial advancements in virtual reality (VR) technology. The ability to carefully manipulate visual environments has become simpler

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Michael Gay and Semyon Slobounov

dysfunction (structural data) in the brain after trauma. Advances in modalities such as functional neuroimaging, quantitative electroencephalography, and virtual reality–based cognitive testing combined with current clinical batteries of exams such as neuropsychological testing, oculomotor examination, and

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Louise Foley and Ralph Maddison

There has been increased research interest in the use of active video games (in which players physically interact with images onscreen) as a means to promote physical activity in children. The aim of this review was to assess active video games as a means of increasing energy expenditure and physical activity behavior in children. Studies were obtained from computerised searches of multiple electronic bibliographic databases. The last search was conducted in December 2008. Eleven studies focused on the quantification of the energy cost associated with playing active video games, and eight studies focused on the utility of active video games as an intervention to increase physical activity in children. Compared with traditional nonactive video games, active video games elicited greater energy expenditure, which was similar in intensity to mild to moderate intensity physical activity. The intervention studies indicate that active video games may have the potential to increase free-living physical activity and improve body composition in children; however, methodological limitations prevent definitive conclusions. Future research should focus on larger, methodologically sound intervention trials to provide definitive answers as to whether this technology is effective in promoting long-term physical activity in children.

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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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Wonjae Choi and Seungwon Lee

advantages of reducing age-related physical and cognitive deterioration, but it has a safety issue considering that it should be performed on water. Virtual reality is used to safely simulate natural motion ( Bohil, Alicea, & Biocca, 2011 ), ensure consistent and planned application of standardized

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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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Chanel T. LoJacono, Ryan P. MacPherson, Nikita A. Kuznetsov, Louisa D. Raisbeck, Scott E. Ross and Christopher K. Rhea

new and more advanced rehabilitation techniques, one of which is virtual reality. The use of virtual reality is defined as a simulation of a real environment that is generated through computer software and is experienced by the user through a human-machine interface ( Holden, 2005 ). From a motor

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Courtney D. Hall, Carolyn K. Clevenger, Rachel A. Wolf, James S. Lin, Theodore M. Johnson II and Steven L. Wolf

The use of low-cost interactive game technology for balance rehabilitation has become more popular recently, with generally good outcomes. Very little research has been undertaken to determine whether this technology is appropriate for balance assessment. The Wii balance board has good reliability and is comparable to a research-grade force plate; however, recent studies examining the relationship between Wii Fit games and measures of balance and mobility demonstrate conflicting findings. This study found that the Wii Fit was feasible for community-dwelling older women to safely use the balance board and quickly learn the Wii Fit games. The Ski Slalom game scores were strongly correlated with several balance and mobility measures, whereas Table Tilt game scores were not. Based on these findings, the Ski Slalom game may have utility in the evaluation of balance problems in community-dwelling older adults.