Towards Playful Monitoring of Executive Functions: Deficits in Inhibition Control as Indicator for Cognitive Impairment in First Stages of Alzheimer
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Meaningful treatment of dementia today consists of multi-component interventions, such as, cognitive and also physical, sensomotoric stimulation. A serious game was developed for multimodal training performed by clients and caregivers using easily configurable services on a Tablet PC. A key problem in developing substantial knowledge about dementia and impacting factors is lack of data about mental processes evolving over time. For this purpose, eye tracking data were captured from non-obtrusive sensing during games to enable daily monitoring of dementia profiles. An anti-saccade measuring paradigm was used to detect attention inhibition problems that typically occur in executive function related neurodegenerative diseases, such as, in Alzheimer. In a 6 month study with 12 users a classifier was developed that enables to discriminate dementia stages from extracted eye movement features received from training at home. The playful training and its diagnostic toolbox offer affordances for entertaining users, measuring and analyzing mental process parameters, and enabling people with dementia to stay longer at home to slow down the progress of disease.
KeywordsAlzheimer intervention system Eye movement features Playful diagnostics Executive functions
The research leading to these results has received funding from the project PLAYTIME of the AAL Programme of the European Union, by the Austrian BMVIT/FFG (No. 857334), ZonMW, the VLAIO, and the Austrian BMVIT/FFG, by project AMIGO.
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