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Assessment & Training of Cognitive Performance in Elderly Life via Meaninful Play

The onset of clinical symptoms of cognitive impairment may be delayed by interventions that focus on increasing cognitive reserve of older persons. Brain exercises may increase this cognitive reserve by measuring and training skills such as memory, attention, dual-tasking ability, and psychomotor control. Unfortunately there is a problem with respect to adherence to intervention programs with brain fitness products. There is a mismatch between the games that older adults enjoy playing and the types of exercises that are currently used for perceptual and cognitive gains. With meaningful play, we point to those games that are already played often by older persons and are perceived as enjoying and meaningful in and of itself. We hypothesize that by using and extending the games that older persons already play (e.g. card games, sudokus, crosswords, checkers,…), adherence will be higher than when using games that have explicitly been put forward as ‘brain training’. Hence, meaningful play may be more suitable for increasing cognitive reserve than specific brain fitness products. To test this hypothesis, we will create a game metrics shell on top of existing games that are played frequently by older persons, and define relevant game metrics and data mining algorithms for monitoring, classifying and training cognitive performance of meaningful play. In addition, we will implement an adaptive cognitive performance dashboards (CPD) on the basis of user models, to help improve older persons’ self-knowledge, and guide them in their choices of specific games and strategies that are of particular relevance for their cognitive performance. Finally, an intervention study will test the aforementioned hypothesis and compare adherence and cognitive outcomes with a popular brain training suite as well as the meaningful play variant. It is hypothesized that we will observe higher adherence measures and better cognitive performance outcomes in the case of meaningful play.
Date:1 Oct 2016 →  30 Sep 2018
Keywords:Assessment, Training, Cognitive Performance, Elderly Life, Meaninful Play
Disciplines:Applied mathematics in specific fields, Computer architecture and networks, Distributed computing, Information sciences, Information systems, Programming languages, Scientific computing, Theoretical computer science, Visual computing, Other information and computing sciences