Boulanger, P., Torres, D., and Bischof, W. F. (2004). A reconfigurable VR environment to study spatial navigation in humans using EEG. Proceedings of the Eurographics Symposium on Virtual Environments VE-04. Grenoble, France, June 8-9, pp. 61-69.
This paper describes a reconfigurable VR environment and a markup language for creating experiments aimed at understanding human spatial navigation. It permits the creation of high-quality virtual environments and the recording of behavioral and brain activity measures while observers navigate these environments. The system is used in studies where the electroencephalographic activity is recorded while observers navigate virtual environments. The results of the study reported here confirmed previous finding that theta oscillations (electroencephalographic activity in the 4-8 Hz band) are linked to the difficulty of spatial navigation. Further, it showed that this activity is likely to occur at points where new rooms come into view, or after navigational mistakes have been realized and are being corrected. This indicates that theta oscillations in humans are related to the encoding and retrieval of spatial information.
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