Memory and VR

November 19, 2018

SLATE researchers, Joakim Vindenes, Angelica Ortiz de Gortari, and Barbara Wasson wrote a paper entitled “Mnemosyne: Adapting the Method of Loci to Immersive Virtual Reality” that was presented June 2018 at the 5th International Conference on Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Computer Graphics (SALENTO AVR 2018).

 

 

 

SLATE PhD Candidate, Joakim Vindenes, also presented the Mnemosyne application during National Science Week in Bergen, Norway, in September.

 

Vindenes used VR Memory Palaces as the theme for his presentation and live demo at the “Forsker Grand Prix” as well as the “Forskningsdagene Ung” events during that week.

 

 

 

Method of Loci

Vindenes et al explain that many memory contest champions claim to use memorization technique called method of loci, which is also known as the memory journey, memory palace, or mind palace technique.

 

The method is a mnemonic device with roots that date back to ancient Rome and Greece. The “Mnemosyne” application developed by Vindenes, adapts the Method of Loci to immersive virtual reality. It aims to increase memory recall by allowing users to create personalised “Memory Palaces” in a virtual environment using a head-mounted display.

 

The paper authors explain that the implementation of the Method of Loci to Virtual Reality could have several interesting benefits, with potential applications both in student learning, and healthcare.

 

 

What is Mnemosyne?

 

“Mnemosyne” is an Immersive Virtual Reality (VR) application that is designed to increase memory recall.

 

The application aims to simulate the ancient mnemonic “Method of Loci” process of memory formation.

 

This process is also referred to as the “Memory Palace” technique.

 

Mnemosyne allows users to create personalised Memory Palaces as they navigate and store so-called, “memory cubes”, in a Virtual Environment using a Head-Mounted Display.

 

The study aims to investigate whether an actual ‘physical’ and visual environment is better suited for mnemonic purposes, compared to the traditionally wholly imaginative one. The authors plan further studies with Mnemosyne to see how factors such as perceived presence and technological immersion could affect the memory scores.

 

What has been learned thus far

The results from a first pilot study showed that participants with higher spatial reasoning abilities have more benefit from use of the method of loci. The researchers have evaluated the pilot results and have ideas about how to design a larger study.

 

 

 

 

Read more about Joakim Vindenes’ research on his research blog, Matrise. Read more specifically about his work with Memory Palaces.

 

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