Assessing Correlation Between Virtual Reality Based Serious Gaming Performance and Cognitive Workload Changes via Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy

AKSOY M. E., İzzetoglu K., Onaral B., Kitapcıoglu D., Sayali M. E., Guven F.

13th International Conference on Augmented Cognition (AC) Held as Part of the 21st International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCII), Florida, United States Of America, 26 - 31 July 2019, vol.11580, pp.375-383 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 11580
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/978-3-030-22419-6_26
  • City: Florida
  • Country: United States Of America
  • Page Numbers: pp.375-383
  • Acibadem Mehmet Ali Aydinlar University Affiliated: Yes


Serious game modules enhance knowledge and performance by offering participants to control the content and to arrange the suitable time for learning. Virtual Reality (VR)- based serious gaming modules are used as a complimentary tool for simulation based medical trainings and an emerging method to potentially replace lecture-based learning by enabling us to use the resources in the simulation centers in a much more efficient way. Due to their higher level of immersion, VR-based serious gaming modules have been widely deployed for different types medical trainings. In this study, a VR based serious gaming module was used for teaching "Adult Basic Life Protocol (BLS)" based on the European Resuscitation Council (ERC)-2015 Guidelines. Total number of the participants was 11. There were two groups; the first group consisted of six non-healthcare workers without prior VR experience and the second group consisted of five healthcare workers with prior VR experience. The participants underwent the training sessions via VR based serious gaming module and were expected to achieve a minimum score of 80 out of 100 points in order to become successful. They were asked to take part in the training protocol on the first day and on the 7th day. In addition to recording the training score, we utilized the functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) sensor to monitor participant's brain activity acquired from prefrontal cortex, that is the area known to be associated with higher order cognitive functioning, such as working memory, attention, decision making and problem solving. The advantages of using fNIRS in everyday working environments for learning and training were reported by various studies. Hence, in this preliminary study, we investigated the correlation between participants' behavior measures, i.e., training performance acquired from the scoring system of the serious gaming module and cognitive workload changes while practicing the training session via the fNIRS system. Based on the analyses of the fNIRS data and performance scores, VR training was found to be effective and helped the trainees to learn the BLS (Basic Life Support) algorithm faster.