Category: Adult Depression / Dysthymia


The Use of Targeted Video Games to Enhance Cognitive Characterization and Remediation

Friday, November 17
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Indigo Ballroom E, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Assessment | Cognitive Processes | Technology / Mobile Health
Presentation Type: Symposium

There are numerous interventions that have demonstrated the potential to enhance cognitive abilities, ranging from the more traditional (e.g., improving one’s nutrition or exercise regime) to the more technological (e.g., the use of pharmaceuticals, genetic therapies, neurostimulation). One approach that has been gaining momentum in recent years is the use of interactive digital media, or video games, to augment cognition, typically referred to as cognitive training. Here I will discuss the potential of such approaches to not only improve selective deficiencies in a range of populations that show deficits in specific cognitive control abilities like attention, but also to show transfer to broader indicators of functioning in daily life. To that end, I will describe previous work aimed at remediating cognitive control deficits in healthy older adults (Anguera et al., 2013), and how the results of that work have subsequently provided a guide for implementing such approaches in a mobile fashion. These efforts will describe the benefit of a targeted attention intervention for a subset of children with attention deficits, while simultaneously highlighting the importance of having a multifaceted assessment for individuals with neurodevelopmental conditions to optimally personalize treatment (Anguera et al., 2017). Furthermore, I will also discuss how such technologies can possibly act in a more powerful fashion for diagnosing such cognitive control deficits in the first place. These efforts will highlight recent work designed to assess such abilities in children (both healthy and clinical populations) in a relatively uncontrolled, non-laboratory setting, demonstrating the utility of such approaches in an inherently variable population (Anguera et al., 2016). In summary, the work presented here will describe the utility in using such technologies to instantiate a trait-based approach when characterizing attention, and in doing so, selecting the appropriate intervention options to maximize real-world, sustained benefit.

Joaquin Anguera

University of California


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The Use of Targeted Video Games to Enhance Cognitive Characterization and Remediation

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