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dc.contributor.advisorIaria, Giuseppe
dc.contributor.authorMcLaren-Gradinaru, Michael
dc.date2020-02
dc.date.accessioned2019-10-28T21:23:02Z
dc.date.available2019-10-28T21:23:02Z
dc.date.issued2019-10-15
dc.identifier.citationMcLaren-Gradinaru, M. (2019). A novel training program for improving spatial orientation: A pilot study (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1880/111182
dc.description.abstractThe ability to form and use a mental representation of the surrounding is a critical skill for efficient spatial navigation and orientation in humans. Such a mental representation, more commonly known as a “cognitive map”, provides detailed information about landmarks and their relationships with each other in space. The inability to effectively form or use cognitive maps is typically compensated by using lower-level, less efficient approaches to navigation and orientation such as memorizing a series of turns and distances that leads to struggles with navigating the environment, making day-to-day activities more difficult. This study aims to examine the potential to train the ability to form cognitive maps by using a computerized program in a virtual environment designed appositely to simulate the acquisition of this important skill as occurring in children during development. Fifteen healthy adults completed a 12-day training and were administered a comprehensive spatial behavioral assessment before and after the training program. The results showed that the training program significantly improved the participants’ general ability to form cognitive maps. The training program did not significantly improve more specific cognitive functions such as mental rotation and perspective taking, suggesting that the program targets specifically the higher cognitive ability to form a mental representation of the surrounding. These findings provide the very first evidence that the ability to form cognitive map for orientation and navigation is a trainable skill. The use of the novel training program developed for this study could have a significant positive impact in the lives of the many individuals affected by topographical disorientation as a result of a neurological condition or a cognitive decline in the aging population.en_US
dc.language.isoengen_US
dc.rightsUniversity of Calgary graduate students retain copyright ownership and moral rights for their thesis. You may use this material in any way that is permitted by the Copyright Act or through licensing that has been assigned to the document. For uses that are not allowable under copyright legislation or licensing, you are required to seek permission.en_US
dc.subjectBrainen_US
dc.subjectBehaviouren_US
dc.subjectSpatialen_US
dc.subjectNavigationen_US
dc.subjectOrientationen_US
dc.subjectWayfindingen_US
dc.subjectCognitiveen_US
dc.subjectMapen_US
dc.subjectTrainingen_US
dc.subjectVirtualen_US
dc.subjectDevelopmenten_US
dc.subject.classificationNeuroscienceen_US
dc.subject.classificationPsychology--Cognitiveen_US
dc.titleA novel training program for improving spatial orientation: A pilot studyen_US
dc.typemaster thesisen_US
dc.publisher.facultyCumming School of Medicineen_US
dc.publisher.institutionUniversity of Calgaryen
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Science (MSc)en_US
thesis.degree.disciplineMedicine – Neuroscienceen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Calgaryen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberCallahan, Brandy L.
dc.contributor.committeememberLévy, Richard M.
ucalgary.item.requestcopytrueen_US


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University of Calgary graduate students retain copyright ownership and moral rights for their thesis. You may use this material in any way that is permitted by the Copyright Act or through licensing that has been assigned to the document. For uses that are not allowable under copyright legislation or licensing, you are required to seek permission.