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Are 10,000 hours accelerated through VR?

Practice, practice, practice. Practice makes perfect. It is widely believed that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert and that repetition is the key to success. However, 10,000 hours is a long time. In fact, if you were to train for 8 hours a day, 40 hours per week it would take you almost 5 years to accomplish.

This is where virtual reality offers assistance in accomplishing training and learning goals, by offering you access to experiences anywhere, anytime.

In VR, you can do the impossible, reduce the costs and remove safety concerns. It is perfect for at-home learning and doing things that are very difficult in the real world.

Virtual reality is unique in the fact that it offers a form of education that we like to refer to as "OFTEN".

Optimized Focus Through Environment Neurolearning.

Let’s start with the learning part, specifically the neuroscience aspect. The understanding and scope of neuroscience today have expanded over the years to include many different approaches to the study of the nervous system, at all kinds of different levels. The methods used by neuroscientists have greatly expanded from molecular and cellular studies to now include studies of sensory, motor skills, and cognitive tasks all within the brain.

This brief will address the cognitive portion of neuroscience (Neurolearning) through the use of virtual reality.

What is Neurolearning ? Neurolearning addresses the questions of how psychological functions are produced and stored for memory recall purposes.

As an example, every time we complete a task no matter how simple or complex, our nervous system is building a neurological pathway known as an axon. The axon is what carries the learned information, in the form of

neurons and synapsis, from the brain to parts of the body that are capable of influencing muscles. This is where we get the term muscle memory.

Why is VR effective? Virtual reality is a technology that builds muscle memory effectively through continuous repetition of a given task. In doing so, the axons can be created by the brain and nervous system over the learning period. Which in turn helps the trainee to cognitively understand what is necessary to successfully accomplish the task or learning objective. By creating an immersive and interactive environment within virtual reality (Optimized Focus) the learning process allows for the trainee to fully utilize their senses to store and retain the information needed at a high degree of efficiency.

Virtual reality headsets were specifically designed to create Optimized Focus. If you have ever had a VR headset on you know that once the headset is in place the “real world” is no longer a cognitive part of the user's perspective. This is because the headset has been designed in such a way that the user is fully immersed in an optimized focus point of engagement according to how the software is designed.

For example, the software could be created to simulate the inside of a vehicle. The software is limited to strictly the inside of the vehicle, yet it is designed so that the trainee is focused specifically on the education and learning of the functionalities of the driver’s area aka (Optimized Focus). Creating such an environment keeps the trainee hyper-focused by allowing them the time to be able to not only concentrate on the task at hand but to also be able to recall from memory their ability to perform the task or objective over and over. Engaging the trainee in this fashion requires the trainee to actively perform the necessary tasks in order to complete the objective. Just as they would have to do in the everyday world.

What additional benefits does VR afford?

Another benefit to using virtual reality software training simulations is that it allows for immediate reset and immediate repetition which is the foundation of learning. By developing experiences with the OFTEN approach we have developed the software in such a way that the trainees' understanding, comprehension, and retention can be accelerated with greater efficacy.

Virtual reality is by far the most advanced way to train/educate in today’s world. By actively engaging the trainee in an interactive, immersive environment we can provide the necessary information for a long and successful career.

By Jeff Williams

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