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Award Abstract #0905127

HCC: Medium: Collaborative Research: Improving Older Adult Cognition: The Unexamined Role of Games and Social Computing Environments

NSF Org: IIS
Div Of Information & Intelligent Systems
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Initial Amendment Date: June 1, 2009
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Latest Amendment Date: February 22, 2012
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Award Number: 0905127
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: William Bainbridge
IIS Div Of Information & Intelligent Systems
CSE Direct For Computer & Info Scie & Enginr
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Start Date: September 1, 2009
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End Date: August 31, 2013 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $770,856.00
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ARRA Amount: $770,856.00
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Investigator(s): Anne McLaughlin anne_mclaughlin@ncsu.edu (Principal Investigator)
Jason Allaire (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: North Carolina State University
CAMPUS BOX 7514
RALEIGH, NC 27695-7514 (919)515-2444
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NSF Program(s): Cyber-Human Systems (CHS)
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Program Reference Code(s): 7367, 7924, 9215, HPCC, 6890
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Program Element Code(s): 7367

ABSTRACT

This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009(Public Law 111-5). The goals of this research project are to understand how variables within social computing environments improve older adult cognition, what properties of an environment are critical, and empirically test these properties in interventions with older adults. The applied output will be design guidelines for a class of cognitive games for older adults and a new social computing environment. Two interventions will be run using video games to improve older adult cognitive and everyday abilities. The first intervention will use a commercial game (Boomblox-Wii) that contains the hypothesized variables necessary for cognitive improvement: novelty, attentional demand, and social interaction. The groups in this intervention will allow measurement of the individual and moderating effects of these variables. Pre-test and post-test ability measures will determine which variables or combinations of variables most improve the cognition and everyday functioning of older adults. The second phase is to use performance and preference data from Intervention 1 to maximally implement the variables shown to most improve cognition and functioning in a game specifically for older adults. The process of design will result in a set of guidelines for cognitive interventions to be used by other developers and researchers, ideally leading to a new class of "brain games" with reliable effectiveness.

These results will advance the knowledge and understanding of how cognitive training reduces age-related decline. The theory that social interaction can facilitate cognitive improvement by increasing effortful attention on a task is suggested by both behavioral and neurological evidence, but this project represents the first time these variables will be empirically tested, and the first intervention in a computing environment. Knowledge gained from this project touches the fields of cognitive aging, human-computer interaction, and social computing - all of which need data on effective cognitive training interventions. Results will aid designers who currently have little knowledge of the interface and game-play needs of older players.

This research advances the understanding of age-related change and social interaction by discovering the crucial components of successful cognitive training for older adults. Studying these components in the context of social computing and virtual worlds allows for world-wide impact and use by physically isolated individuals. A social computing environment may be used by older adults in rural communities, those separated geographically from their cohort, and those unable to leave their homes (all under-served populations). This project involves significant student involvement, providing varied mentorship opportunities to the students as well as exposure to differing methodologies. Specialized coursework will result from this project in developmental psychology, skill acquisition, and video game design.


PUBLICATIONS PRODUCED AS A RESULT OF THIS RESEARCH

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Allaire, J. C., McLaughlin, A. C., Trujillo, A., Whitlock, L. A., LaPorte, L. D., & Gandy, M.. "Successful aging through digital games: Socioemotional differences between older adult gamers and non-gamers.," Computers in Human Behavior, v.29, 2013.

McLaughlin, A. C., Gandy, M., Allaire, J. C., & Whitlock, L. A.. "Putting fun into video games for older adults," Ergonomics in Design: The Quarterly of Human Factors Applications, v.20, 2012. 

BOOKS/ONE TIME PROCEEDING

(Showing: 1 - 10 of 36)
  Show All

McLaughlin, A. C.. "Cognitive training for older adults: It won?t be easy but it
can be fun", 09/01/2009-08/31/2010,  2010, "Future of Gaming Colloquium
Series, NCSU, Raleigh, NC".

McLaughlin, A. C.. "With great power comes great
responsibility: the future of
video games", 09/01/2009-08/31/2010,  2010, "Panel presentation at South by
Southwest (SXSW) sponsored by
the NSF and Discover Magazine,
Austin, TX".

McLaughlin, A. C.. "Mental training via video games", 09/01/2009-08/31/2010,  2010, "Human Factors Month Speaker
Series, Clemson University,
Clemson, SC".

McLaughlin, A. C.. "Cognitive training for an older
population", 09/01/2009-08/31/2010,  2010, "Emerging Issues Forum, Raleigh,
NC".

Allaire, J. C. & McLaughlin, A.
C.. "All your base are belong to
boomers", 09/01/2009-08/31/2010,  2010, "Triangle Games Conference,
Raleigh, NC.".

McLaughlin, A. C.. "Cognitive training for older adults: It won't be easy but it
can be fun", 09/01/2010-08/31/2011,  2010, "Future of Gaming Colloquium
Series, NCSU, Raleigh, NC".

McLaughlin, A. C.. "With great power comes great
responsibility: the future of
video games", 09/01/2010-08/31/2011,  2010, "Panel presentation at South by
Southwest (SXSW) sponsored by
the NSF and Discover Magazine,
Austin, TX".

McLaughlin, A. C.. "Mental training via video games", 09/01/2010-08/31/2011,  2010, "Human Factors Month Speaker
Series, Clemson University,
Clemson, SC".

McLaughlin, A. C.. "Cognitive training for an older
population", 09/01/2010-08/31/2011,  2010, "Emerging Issues Forum, Raleigh,
NC".

Allaire, J. C. & McLaughlin, A.
C.. "All your base are belong to
boomers", 09/01/2010-08/31/2011,  2010, "Triangle Games Conference,
Raleigh, NC.".


(Showing: 1 - 10 of 36)
  Show All




 

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