Annett, M. K. and Bischof, W. F. (2009). The SNaP Framework: A VR Tool for Assessing Spatial Navigation. 14th Annual CyberTherapy and CyberPsychology Conference, Lago Maggiore, Italy, June 21-23, Annual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine, 7, 61-65.

Recent work in psychology has leveraged the power of Virtual Reality (VR) to study the deterioration of navigation abilities in the elderly. Much of this research has focused on determining the behavioural measurements and paradigms appropriate for such diagnoses. We present a system, the Spatial Navigation Paradigm (SNaP) framework, which can be used to implement a battery of spatial navigation paradigms. This framework integrates a popular VR environment development platform with an extensible representation medium to allow for the precise control of paradigms, the switching between input and output devices, and the recording of accurate behavioural measurements. A preliminary study of the framework indicates that novice and expert VR users are able to quickly and easily deploy and specify experiments and that expert users can easily modify and extend existing paradigms.

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