Epeli: a novel virtual reality task for the assessment of goal-directed behavior in real-life contexts

Erik Seesjärvi, Jasmin Puhakka, Eeva T Aronen, Alexandra Hering, Sascha Zuber, Liya Merzon, Matthias Kliegel, Matti Laine, Juha Salmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

A recently developed virtual reality task, EPELI (Executive Performance in Everyday LIving), quantifies goal-directed behavior in naturalistic conditions. Participants navigate a virtual apartment, performing household chores given by a virtual character. EPELI aims to tap attention, executive function, and prospective memory. To ensure its applicability to further research and clinical work and to study its relationship to relevant background factors, we examined several key properties of EPELI in 77 typically developing 9-13-year-old children. These included EPELI's internal consistency, age and gender differences, sensitivity to gaming experience, head-mounted display (HMD) type, and verbal recall ability, as well as its relationships with parent-rated everyday executive problems. Of the eight EPELI measures, the following six showed acceptable internal consistency: task and navigation efficacy, number of correctly performed tasks and overall actions, time monitoring, and controller movement. Some measures were associated with age, gender, or verbal encoding ability. Moreover, EPELI performance was associated with parent-rated everyday executive problems. There were no significant associations of gaming background, task familiarity, or HMD type with the EPELI measures. These results attest to the reliability and ecological validity of this new virtual reality tool for the assessment of attention, executive functions, and prospective memory in children.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalPsychological Research
Early online date23 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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