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Mobile games can alert to dementia |



Gesture control on the touch screens of modern mobile phones provides evidence of problems. […]

Popular smartphone games use touch gestures, and these are very enlightening. (c) berc - Fotolia
Popular smartphone games use touch gestures, and these are very enlightening. (c) berc – Fotolia

Mobile games like the "Candy Crush Saga" are popular entertainment, but they can also serve as a useful warning tool for checking your cognitive skills and alerting you to dementia, for example. This was revealed by a study by researchers at the University of Kent. Because as players get along well with tax gestures, they can draw conclusions about whether their brains are still operating at full power. Games with algorithms in the background could monitor mental fitness in the future.

Model gestures

Popular smartphone games use touch gestures, and these are very enlightening. Because the way users perform movements is related to their cognitive abilities. Multimedia expert Jim Ang and his colleagues discovered this in experiments with 21 healthy volunteers. Participants completed conventional cognitive tests and played "Candy Crush Saga", "Fruit Ninja" and "Tetris" as part of the study. These games are easy to learn, enchanting and use multiple gestures.

Using sensors built into the smartphone, researchers were able to show that there was a clear link between user typing and erasure and their cognitive performance. As well as how well one handles gestures, the study provides important information, including players' ability in the areas of visual search, mental flexibility and attention span.

Early detection games

In a study presented on UbiComp 2019, the team concludes that popular mobile games can make visible changes in motor skills that occur, for example, in diseases such as Alzheimer's disease or stroke. Therefore, they have the potential to improve early detection – which the team wants to take full advantage of. "We are working on an algorithm that can automatically monitor the cognitive performance of individuals when they play these games," Ang says.


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