D1.1 Cognitive Training Game

Principal Investigator: Maribeth Gandy Coleman, Ph.D.
Project Team: Rob Solomon, M.S.; Laura Levy, M.S.
Project Collaborator: Gains Through Gaming Lab, North Carolina State University

Specific Aims
Recently, there has been an increasing interest in activity-engagement interventions to halt or reverse age-related cognitive decline, with considerable effort focused on the use of video games. A new market has emerged for computer-based “brain games” for cognitive training, ranging from simple web-based versions of standard cognitive tests to commercial bestsellers such as Nintendo’s Brain Age. However, the majority of games are designed young players without disabilities. As a result, little is known about the effectiveness or usability of such games for older adults with disabilities.

In a prior study, GA Tech and NC State developed a cognitive game for older adults, Food for Thought. The game was informed both by research on the types of activities that result in cognitive benefit and extensive usability and play-testing with individuals with mild to moderate mobility impairment. In this development project we will use Food For Thought as a starting point to develop, study, and deploy a cognitive training game that is usable by people aging with mild/moderate motor disabilities, such as MS or Parkinson’s, who are experiencing age-related sensory loss.

Specific aims of this project are to:

  1. examine the accessibility and usability of the game;
  2. modify the Food for Thought game to be to be accessible, usable and engaging;
  3. evaluate usability of the modified game;
  4. deploy the game as a free app through online stores and
  5. release Food for Thought platform as an open source.