The physical condition and cognitive ability of older adults tends to decline. This study focused on the development of an augmented reality (AR)-based rehabilitation training system to improve the spatial visualization and mental rotation abilities of elderly people. Using one’s imagination to manipulate objects is common in everyday life. However, training tasks for the elderly are still presented in two-dimension, which research indicates generates a cognitive load that reduces the participants’ interest and diminishes the effects of training. AR can effectively reduce cognitive load, improve one’s sense of spatial direction, and increase participants’ interest in training. Therefore, this study used AR technology, combined with a tangible user interface as a manual controller, to allow participants to directly manipulate a virtual three-dimensional model that used a cube to conduct mental rotation tasks (MRT) for the elderly to improve their mental rotation ability. After 6 weeks of intervention, we used an ABA (reversal) design and paired-sample t tests in SPSS to compare the learning effects on the experimental group’s pre- and posttests. The participants’ error rates significantly declined and their reaction times significantly improved during the MRT test.
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