Virtual reality can distort memories

Japanese scientists found that when using active VR memories are formed than in case of simple watching videos. The causes of this phenomenon is still unclear, but it may become a serious obstacle for widespread use of this promising technology.

In recent years, virtual reality technology is developing at a rapid pace. VR headsets have become commonplace, and soon they can replace a light and compact sunglasses. Many hope that technology will give humanity a new form of entertainment, but also make education more effective.

However, fresh research team from the Technical University of Toyohashi and Tokyo University, which tells Eurek Alert, casts doubt on the educational prospects of VR.

The main problem of VR

The authors conducted the experiment, the participants were divided into two groups. Subjects first had to put on a headset and independently walk through a virtual art gallery. People from the second group watched a video of the same walk in the display – that is, could not affect the route.

Then all participants underwent a test of memorizing what they saw. Those who have investigated the Museum in VR with headset, coped with it worse.

Thus, the team first found that when using active virtual reality visual memories are formed worse. What is the reason, is unclear. Perhaps the increased sense of immersion overloads the brain and interferes with the normal work of memory.

The authors note that their findings should be taken into account when trying to use VR as an educational tool.

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