Currently submitted to: JMIR Serious Games
Date Submitted: Nov 19, 2019
Open Peer Review Period: Nov 19, 2019 - Jan 14, 2020
(currently open for review)
The influence of age on learning ability of new cognitive tasks. An ecological study using Cognitive Mobile Games.
The decline of cognitive function is an important issue related to aging. Over the last few years, numerous apps and games have been developed to challenge the brain with cognitive exercises. However, little is currently known about the potential of these types of interventions to impact cognition positively.
The objective of this study was to analyze changes in the scores of Cognitive Mobile Games (CMG) over a period of training to learn about the level of score improvement that participants of different ages can reach, as a measure of the learning ability of new cognitive tasks.
Scores from 9000 subjects of different ages obtained for 7 CMG were analysed over a period of 100 training sessions. Results of the first session were compared between age groups using one-way ANOVA and mixed models were used to subsequently investigate the progression of scores over the 100 sessions.
Statistically significant differences were found between the age groups for the initial scores of 6 of the 7 games. We observed that CMG scores increased for all participants, suggesting that all participants were able to improve their performance in new cognitive tasks. The rate of the score increase was however strongly influenced by the age of the participants with slower progression for more aged participants.
The current study provides two interesting insights: 1) users who train with the games improve regardless of age, suggesting that even older adults can learn new skills using mobile technology; 2) Use of CMG appears to be a sensitive method to assess changes in the cognitive function with advancing age and could be a convenient way to monitor cognitive function during long term follow-up. Clinical Trial: NA
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