Pros and Cons for users

  • Pro: If given training and time to learn, users with cognitive impairments can become proficient in virtual environments 1
  • Pro: The vividness and synchronous interaction of virtual environments can allow users to focus their attention more effectively
  • Pro: Students who need more training and time can usually replicate learning artefacts and interactions
  • Pro: Virtual environments can be designed to support error-free training, which can assist cognitive disorders 2
  • Pro: The distraction offered by Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) has the potential to diminish pain perception amongst chronic and acute pain sufferers 3
  • Pro: Can allow users with Asperger's Syndrome to learn social skills that might be difficult to grasp in real life 1
  • Con: The user interface may be difficult to learn
  • Con: Virtual world skills may be difficult to acquire
  • Con: Input devices such as wands, joysticks and 3D mice may be difficult to master 2
  • Con: Some users may experience vertigo
  • Con: Users may suffer from motion sickness, due to conflicts between sensory cues or between the virtual environment and what is felt by the body 2
  • Con: Users may experience disturbed motor skills after using virtual environments, due to a lag in readaptation to the real world environment 2
  • Con: Flashing or moving objects may cause seizures or migraines 1
VR spatial rotation exercise being used to test cognition
VR spatial rotation exercise being used to test cognition. Image courtesy of Ye Pan, UCL

Cognition Use Cases

  • As a user with a photosensitive seizure disorder, I need to avoid three flashes in a second, so I do not have a seizure.
  • As a user with a cognitive impairment, I need training and time, so that I can learn the environment.
  • As a user with a disability, I need suggestions on how to fix input errors, so I can easily correct mistakes.


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