Category Archives: Gaming

Video games studied to treat late-life depression

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UCSF’s Joaquin Anguera and UW’s Patricia Arean have published a study detailing the use of video games to treat late life depression. They claim that the EVO interface targets underlying cognitive issues associated with depression, and does not simply manage systems. The game, developed by Akili, is meant to improve focus and attention at a “basic neurological level.”

Players in the study displayed cognitive benefits (such as improved attention — a commonly reported challenge for depression suffers) compared to behavioral therapy, as well as improved mood and self-reported function.

Participants  played the game  for 20 minutes, five times per week, and met with a clinician once per week. The researchers noted that social contact of this nature can have a positive effect on mood.  This may have impacted results, and is not related to game playing.
ApplySci’s 6th  Digital Health + NeuroTech Silicon Valley  conference –  February 7-8 2017 @ Stanford   |   Featuring:   Vinod Khosla – Tom Insel – Zhenan Bao – Phillip Alvelda – Nathan Intrator – John Rogers – Roozbeh Ghaffari –Tarun Wadhwa – Eythor Bender – Unity Stoakes – Mounir Zok – Sky Christopherson – Marcus Weldon – Krishna Shenoy – Karl Deisseroth – Shahin Farshchi – Casper de Clercq – Mary Lou Jepsen – Vivek Wadhwa – Dirk Schapeler – Miguel Nicolelis.

Early registration rates available through Friday, January 6th

Game navigation uncovers early dementia signs

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Sea Hero Quest is a smartphone game that  follows the journey of a sea explorer who has lost his memories. It is being used as a tool to uncover early dementia symptoms for research purposes.

One of the first symptoms of dementia could be a loss of orientation. Gamer decisions and movements will help  researchers set a benchmark of “normal” navigational skills.

The developers at Alzheimer’s Research UK, Deutsche Telecom, University College London and the University of East Anglia hope to reach 100,000 players this year.  This would provide exponentially more data, in a short period of time, than traditional studies could.

Click to view Alzheimer’s UK video


Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC – June 7, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

NeuroTech NYC – June 8, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

3D games boost memory test performance

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study by UC Irvine professor Craig Stark has shown that playing 3D video games can boost performance on memory tests by up to 12 percent. (This is the typical percentage of lost memory function from ages 45 – 75.)

69 non-gamer college students were split into 3  groups. For two weeks, 2 groups played either a 2D game (Angry Birds), or a 3D game (Super Mario 3D World) for 30 minutes per day. The baseline group did not play games. Cognitive and memory tests were performed  before and after the  period. The control group and 2D gamers performed the same, but the scores of 3D gamers improved by 12 percent.

The researchers believe that 3D, detail rich games stimulate the hippocampus, which controls spatial memory.

Click to view the UC Irvine video.


Wearable Tech + Digital Health San Francisco – April 5, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

NeuroTech San Francisco – April 6, 2016 @ the Misson Bay Conference Center

Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC – June 7, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

NeuroTech NYC – June 8, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

 

VR game to combat anxiety

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Games designed to improve attention and memory are growing rapidly.   Now the neurogaming movement is tackling panic and stress.

Deep is an Oculus VR based game by Owen Harris that is meant to relieve symptoms of anxiety.

The headset, headphones, and  a belt that matches a player’s breathing  with on-screen movements, are used to encourage breathing patterns that relax the body and mind.

The creator tells users to “allow the game to sweep you into its relaxing embrace as it teaches you yogic breathing techniques that can relieve stress, anxiety and mild depression.”


WEARABLE TECH + DIGITAL HEALTH SAN FRANCISCO – APRIL 5, 2016 @ THE MISSION BAY CONFERENCE CENTER

NEUROTECH SAN FRANCISCO – APRIL 6, 2016 @ THE MISSION BAY CONFERENCE CENTER

WEARABLE TECH + DIGITAL HEALTH NYC – JUNE 7, 2016 @ THE NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

NEUROTECH NYC – JUNE 8, 2016 @ THE NEW  YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

 

 

Interactive senior health and brain training app

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Notre Dame’s Nitesh Chawla has created eSeniorCare, a personalized, social app to help seniors age in place.

Several existing apps  track data.  eSeniorCare is meant to engage and stimulate seniors, and be interactive.  Users can connect with carers by sending questions and concerns through text or voice recordings.

Health goals are tracked and sent to supporters who can provide guidance and motivation.  Video, audio and text medication reminders can be sent.  Stimulating brain games, designed to enhance cognition and prevent degeneration, can be played.

The goal is senior independence, combined with a support system with enough data to proactively reach out when needed.

WEARABLE TECH + DIGITAL HEALTH SAN FRANCISCO – APRIL 5, 2016 @ THE MISSION BAY CONFERENCE CENER

NEUROTECH SAN FRANCISCO – APRIL 6, 2016 @ THE MISSION BAY CONFERENCE CENTER

Virtual coaching for TBI patients

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The Office of Naval Research is developing MOVER (Mobile, Virtual Enhancements for Rehabilitation) to help TBI patients maintain therapy regimens.  Confusion, forgetfulness or depression can prevent injured veterans from completing necessary exercises for rehabilitation. Featured movements include including lunges, knee raises and squats, which are standard for TBI therapy.

When a user turns on a computer and camera, he/she stands still, while MOVER maps a virtual “skeleton” of brightly colored lines and shapes.  Movements are mirrored through each exercise. To increase visibility, users can connect MOVER to a television using Microsoft Kinect.

The system coaches by displaying pop-up text boxes or color shading in areas of the virtual skeleton, highlighting where and how to correct one’s form.

A six-month pilot study of the software, with 40 TBI patients and therapists at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, will soon begin.

Sport performance game app to train the brain

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Games are increasingly recognized as a method of enhancing cognitive abilities.  HeadTrainer is meant to improve the brain with 5-10 minutes of daily gameplay.

The sports games were designed to exercise 5 cognitive skills:   decision making, processing speed, focus, memory, and visual/spatial awareness.  Developer Deborah Attix of Duke University focused on testing and training the brain with each game.

The company believes that in the future, HeadTrainer and similar apps can contribute to the mental, emotional, health, and hormonal metrics that are key to sports analytics.