LightSword: A Customized Virtual Reality Exergame for Long-Term Cognitive Inhibition Training in Older Adults


The decline of cognitive inhibition significantly impacts older adults’ quality of life and well-being, making it a vital public health problem in today’s aging society. Previous research has demonstrated that Virtual reality (VR) exergames have great potential in enhancing cognitive inhibition among older adults. However, existing commercial VR exergames were unsuitable for older adults’ long-term cognitive training due to the inappropriate cognitive activation paradigm, unnecessary complexity, and unbefitting difficulty levels. To bridge these gaps, we developed a customized VR cognitive training exergame (LightSword) based on Dual-task and Stroop paradigms for long-term cognitive inhibition training among healthy older adults. Subsequently, we conducted an eight-month longitudinal user study with 12 older adults aged 60 years and above to demonstrate the effectiveness of LightSword in improving cognitive inhibition. After the training, the cognitive inhibition abilities of older adults were significantly enhanced, with benefits persisting for 6 months. This result indicated that LightSword has both short-term and long-term effects in enhancing cognitive inhibition. Furthermore, qualitative feedback revealed that older adults exhibited a positive attitude toward long-term training with LightSword, which enhanced their motivation and compliance.

The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2024