AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE IMPACT OF VR ON EPISODIC AND SPATIAL MEMORIES
The recent rise in virtual reality (VR) technology has influenced architectural heritage. Since the memories that people embed in heritage spaces are crucial to their lives, this research investigates the impact of the VR medium on episodic and spatial memories. The authors used a quasi-experimental approach, where sixty participants explored actual and VR heritage environments for 15 minutes. Immediately afterward, the researchers conducted the free-recall test and, 20 minutes later, the delayed recall test with each participant individually. The research results show that the difference between actual and VR environments was significant in spatial and episodic free recall. The main difference between both was recalling more details in the VR environment compared to the actual one. Meanwhile, the participants in the actual environment were more likely to recall the building in terms of spatial relationships between different entities. Nevertheless, the delayed recall test shows no significant difference between the two environments, except for spaces with high multi-sensorial and interactive components.