Is Virtual Reality the panacea it first seems?
The discussion around Virtual Reality in sports – be it motor control and learning or sport psychology – is growing, with researchers debating about the potential of VR for research and application in sports. Currently, VR for sport is still in its infancy and we’ve certainly got a long way to go and explore.
For me, one of the core questions is whether we can use Virtual Reality to support motor learning and related coaching. To this end, we – an interdisciplinary team of scientists from computer graphics, computer linguists, psychologists and sport scientists – have done several learning studies using interactive, immersive VR for motor learning, of which the first one was published just recently (see here):
The present study links observational practice to VR-based concurrent visual feedback and provides insights into new types of augmented feedback during movement execution for the coaching of motor actions in VR. Specifically, this study was the first to show that observing the participant’s own avatar together with superimposed skilled performance displayed on a second virtual character while practicing a full body movement can improve motor performance and cognitive representation in memory.