More and more people suffer from age-related eye conditions, e.g. Macular Degeneration. One of the problems experienced by these people is navigation. A strategy shown by many juvenile visually impaired persons (VIPs) is using auditory information for navigation. Therefore, it is important to train age-related VIPs to use auditory information for navigation. Hence the serious game HearHere was developed to train the focused auditory attention of age-related VIPs enhancing the use of auditory information for navigation, available as an application for tablets. Players of the game are instructed to navigate virtually as quickly as possible to a specific sound, requiring focused auditory attention. In an experimental study, the effectiveness of the game on improving focused auditory attention was examined. Forty participants were included, all students of the University of Groningen with normal or corrected-to-normal vision. By including sighted participants, we could investigate whether someone who was used to rely on its vision could improve its focused auditory attention after playing HearHere. As a control, participants played a digital version of Sudoku. The order of playing the games was counterbalanced. Participants were asked to perform a dichotic listening task before playing any game, after playing the first game and after playing the second game. It was found that participants improved significantly more in their performance on the dichotic listening task after having played HearHere (p<.001) than after playing Sudoku (p=.040). This means the game indeed improves focused auditory attention, a skill necessary to navigate on sounds. In conclusion, we recommend the game to become part of the orientation and mobility program, offering age-related VIPs the opportunity to practice the use of auditory information for navigation. Currently, we are working on a version that is suitable for actual use.
|Number of pages||1|
|Publication status||Published - 29 Jun 2017|
|Event||12th International Conference of the International Society for Low Vision Research and Rehabilitation (ISLRR) - The Hague, Netherlands|
Duration: 25 Jun 2017 → 29 Jun 2017
|Conference||12th International Conference of the International Society for Low Vision Research and Rehabilitation (ISLRR)|
|Period||25/06/17 → 29/06/17|
- age related eye conditions
- auditory training
- visually impaired persons (vips)
Hartendorp, M., Braad, E., Van Sloten, J., Steyvers, F., & Pinkster, C. (2017). The serious game HearHere for elderly with age-related vision loss: effectively training the skill to use auditory information for navigation. Abstract from 12th International Conference of the International Society for Low Vision Research and Rehabilitation (ISLRR), The Hague, Netherlands.