Connecting Embodied Embedded Cognition to Learning Comparing Visuospatial Memory in Augmented and Virtual Space

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Interaction with the environment has been essential in the development of the human brain and in the molding of our current world. The spatial insight that the brain provides us with, such as the location of objects and the mapping of the local landscape, enables us to navigate and to analyze the world for opportunity and danger. Currently due to the rise of different technologies, such as smartphones, its applications, and virtual reality, humans tend to find themselves straying away from this environment and increasingly submerge in the digital space. Hence, knowing how this transition influences cognitive capabilities is socially and scientifically prominent. To explore this influence, an experiment was conducted in which I measured the influence of embodied embedded cognition on spatial memory in a fully digital manner and augmented reality (AR). AR was used as a comparison, because it is considered biased towards reality and has potential educational benefits. The exploration was done in the the game Concentration, while measuring the subject’s time needed, the number of errors, the number of steps, and the Euclidean distance between the selected card and the correct card of each step in the two conditions of gameplay (two-dimensional space (2D) and AR). The experiment showed that gameplay does not affect a subject’s performance on neither of the dependent variables. This indicates that embodied embedded cognition does not influence spatial memory, which is surprising since several studies found positive correlation between memory and the increase of interaction in the form of augmented reality. This conflict suggests that there are alternative explanations for the current findings. There are two prominent explanations for the findings. One explanation states that the methods used for this experiment were not suited to expose the influence of embodied embedded cognition on spatial memory. It claims that the conditions of gameplay, regardless of their varying perceptual and interactive richness, do not influence spatial memory. The other explanation states that the influence embodied embedded cognition has on spatial memory was not visible in this experiment, because it influences a unknown variable. !
Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen