Augmented Reality for the assessment of children's spatial memory in real settings

Autores UPV
Revista PLoS ONE


Short-term memory can be defined as the capacity for holding a small amount of information in mind in an active state for a short period of time. There are no available, specific, and adapted instruments to study the development of memory and spatial orientation in people while they are moving. In this paper, we present the ARSM (Augmented Reality Spatial Memory) task, the first Augmented Reality task that involves a user's movement to assess spatial short-term memory in healthy children. The experimental procedure of the ARSM task was designed to assess the children¿s skill to retain visuospatial information. They were individually asked to remember the real place where augmented reality objects were located. The children (N=76) were divided into two groups: preschool (5-6 year olds) and primary school (7-8 year olds). We found a significant improvement in ARSM task performance in the older group. The correlations between scores for the ARSM task and traditional procedures were significant. These traditional procedures were the Dot Matrix subtest for the assessment of visuospatial short-term memory of the computerized AWMA-2 battery and a parent¿s questionnaire about a child¿s everyday spatial memory. Hence, we suggest that the ARSM task has high verisimilitude with spatial short-term memory skills in real life. In addition, we evaluated the ARSM task¿s usability and perceived satisfaction. The study revealed that the younger children were more satisfied with the ARSM task. This novel instrument could be useful in detecting visuospatial short-term difficulties that affect school academic achievement