Remembering control functions coupled with the motor demands of locomotion in a virtual environment made the doorways tasks complex enough to see initial performance differences.
For the doorway task, although it appears that experience with computers may have been a major contributing factor determining performance. However, it was demonstrated that older adults were indeed capable of learning how to use a joystick for locomotion and navigation in VE, thus indicating sufficient cognitive and motor skills. Czaja ( 1988) suggests that research regarding response latency and older adults implies that the design of displays, as well as response devices, and user software are critical for the effective implementation of computer systems. Studies using computer or video game experience as a covariate in future research might allow for researcher to isolate some of these other factors potentially contributing to performance differences. Therefore, further studies must be conducted to address the issues touched upon in this paper, as well as issues regarding older adults' susceptibility to simulator or Cyber sickness.
We would like to thank Bruce Knerr and the U.S. Army Research Institute Simulator Systems Research Unit (ARI SSRU), Orlando Field Unit for all their support. We would also like to show our appreciation to the Institute for Simulation and Training (IST) at the University of Central Florida (UCF), especially Kimberly Parsons, Dwayne Nelson, and Greg Wiatrowski for all their technical support. We would also thank the Learning Institute for Elders (LIFE) at UCF and the individuals that participated in this study.
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