The Science Behind doVille
The science behind doVille is compelling. As we know, there is evidence that brain volume, including that of the hippocampus decreases with advancing age. However, it has been discovered that the hippocampus (a structure in the temporal lobe that is responsible for keeping track of the events in our life) is one of the few brain structures that continues to generate new cells (this is called neurogenesis) throughout adult life.
There is also a large body of evidence that certain activities, including physical exercise, social engagement, and participating in cognitively challenging activities, is “neuroprotective”, i.e. that it can delay or prevent cognitive decline in older individuals, and in certain cases delay the onset of dementia in vulnerable individuals. In other words, the brain in old age is still capable of rewiring itself to preserve cognitive function, so long as we are able to remain engaged with the physical and social world around us.
People in seniors’ residences in some cases do not have the ability to get out and explore the real world, and may also suffer from a lack of variety in their daily experiences. In these circumstances, VR games may provide experiential enrichment and mental stimulation that would not otherwise be available to elderly individuals, especially those with restricted or limited mobility.
There is published evidence that experience with immersive virtual reality (like doVille) can improve cognitive function, and even produces measurable change in brain structures associated with episodic memory. These include increases in volume of the hippocampus, It does so by encoding those events into memory in the context of other events that were happening at the same time, and in the context of the places where these events occurred.
doVille has taken the science one step further and has incorporated gaming into the doVille experience. Residents will experience a game similar in format to the iconic Mario 64. When a study* was done on subjects that played Mario 64 for six months, the experienced improved short-term memory and showed increased grey matter in the cerebellum and hippocampus.
In addition, by rendering the doVille experience using cartoon like characters the resident is immediately placed into a “safe” altered reality that promotes retention and stimulation.
doVille will be a fun immersive journey that your residents will look forward to. It will take them back in time to familiar positive experiences that will provide a welcome escape from current realities. Combining an immersive VR experience with a science based gaming component will have a positive effect on their hippocampus and therefore their ability to retain memories.
To learn more about the science behind doVille, download our White Paper on the subject now.
*Playing Super Mario 64 increases hippocampal grey matter in older adults
Greg L. West, Bejamin Rich Zendel, Kyoko Konishi, Jessica Bernady-Chorney, Veronique D. Bohbot, Isabelle Peretz, Sylvie Belleville