Conference Paper

Enhancing Neuropsychological Testing with Gamification and Tangible Interfaces: The Baking Tray Task

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Abstract

Neuropsychological tests are performance-based tasks to evaluate cognitive functions, but often they are particularly long and boring during their execution; these issues can interfere with performance provided by patients or healthy participants. In this paper, we present our gamified and virtually enhanced version of a specific neuropsychological test: The Baking Tray Task (BTT), aimed to assess unilateral spatial neglect (USN), a visuospatial processing disorder. This enhanced BTT version has been developed through STELT (Smart Technologies to Enhance Learning and Teaching) software, a platform which allows implementation of augmented reality systems based on RFID/NFC technology. These materials permit to link together smart technologies and physical materials, uniting the manipulative approach and digitalized technologies.

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... STELT (Smart Technologies to Enhance Learning and Teaching) is a recently developed platform that allows the use of tangible interfaces STELT (Smart Technologies to Enhance Learning and Teaching) software, a platform which allows implementation of augmented reality systems based on RFID/NFC technology [31]. These materials permit to link together smart technologies and physical materials, uniting the manipulative approach and digitalized technologies [33]. STELT can be a very flexible and useful tool to develop learning environment, so it can be used by psychologist or educators to develop an interactive environment for learning. ...
... Step counters and reminders, from watches and other devices to move, represent an increasingly ubiquitous example of gamification in our daily lives. In parallel, gamification percolated performance-based testing, such as the neuropsychological profiling: if taken in a gamified-version, issues related to length and boredom on the patients' side can, to some extent, be mitigated 46 . ...
Article
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The role of games in education continues to evolve. The integration of game-based learning with technology has become more common and contributed to a growing body of literature promoting the use of game-based learning techniques. However, it is only recently that these approaches have been applied to the realm of medical education. Here, we review the evidence supporting game-based learning in undergraduate and graduate medical education and in neurology education. Moreover, we discuss challenges and opportunities for neurologic curricular implementation and explore applications in clinical settings. The potential for leveraging game-based learning might represent a chance to seize for neurology and neuroscience.
... E-TAN: a technologically-enhanced platform to assess visuospatial cognition with tangible interfaces A tangible user interface system consists of an integrated system of concrete objects that participants can manipulate. The E-TAN platform is a prototype derived from the enhancement of BTT, a tool devised to evaluate of spatial cognition (Cerrato & Ponticorvo, 2017;Cerrato, Ponticorvo, et al., 2018;Cerrato, Ponticorvo, et al., 2019a, 2019bGentile et al., 2019). The tangible physical interfaces in E-TAN are disks 4-cm in diameter. ...
Article
Visual neglect is a frequent and disabling consequence of right brain damage. Traditional paper-and pencil tests of neglect have limited sensitivity and ecological validity. The Baking Tray Task (BTT), instead, approaches real-life situations, because it requires participants to place 16 physical objects on a board. The number of objects placed on the left and right portions of the board provides a clinical index of visual neglect. Here we present E-TAN, a technology-enhanced platform for BTT (E-BTT). E-BTT automatically determines the object locations on the board, and also records the sequence and timing of their placement. We used E-BTT to test 9 patients with right hemisphere damage and compared their performance with that obtained by 115 healthy participants. To this end, we developed a new method of analysis of participants’ performance, based on the use of the convex hull described by the objects on the board. This measure provides an estimate of the portion of space processed by each participant and can effectively discriminate neglect patients from patients without neglect. E-TAN allows clinicians to assess visuospatial performance by using a convenient, fast, and relatively automatized procedure, that patients can even perform at home to follow-up the effects of rehabilitation.
... 2.1 E-TOKEN: a technologically-enhanced platform to assess visuospatial cognition with tangible interfaces A tangible user interface system consists of an integrated system of concrete objects that participants can manipulate. The E-TOKEN platform is a prototype derived from the enhancement of BTT, a tool devised to evaluate of spatial cognition (Cerrato & Ponticorvo, 2017;Cerrato, Ponticorvo, Bartolomeo & Miglino, 2018;Cerrato, Ponticorvo, Gigliotta, Bartolomeo & Miglino, 2019a,b). The tangible physical interfaces in E-TOKEN are disks 4-cm in diameter. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Visual neglect is a frequent and disabling consequence of right brain damage. Traditional paper-and-pencil tests of neglect have limitations in sensitivity and ecological validity. The Baking Tray Task (BTT), instead, approaches real-life situations, because it requires participants to place 16 physical objects on a board. The number of objects placed on the left and right portions of the board provides a clinical index of visual neglect. Here we present E-TOKEN, a technology-enhanced version of the BTT. E-TOKEN automatically determines the object locations on the board, and also records the sequence and timing of their placement. We used E-TOKEN to test 9 patients with right hemisphere damage, and compared their performance with that obtained by 115 healthy participants. To this end, we developed a new method of analysis of participants' performance, based on the use of the convex hull described by the objects on the board. This measure provides an estimate of the portion of space processed by each participant, and can effectively discriminate neglect patients from patients without neglect. E-TOKEN allows clinicians to assess visuospatial performance by using a convenient, fast, and relatively automatized procedure, that patients can even perform at home to follow-up the effects of rehabilitation.
... 2.1 E-TOKEN: a technologically-enhanced platform to assess visuospatial cognition with tangible interfaces A tangible user interface system consists of an integrated system of concrete objects that participants can manipulate. The E-TOKEN platform is a prototype derived from the enhancement of BTT, a tool devised to evaluate of spatial cognition (Cerrato & Ponticorvo, 2017;Cerrato, Ponticorvo, Bartolomeo & Miglino, 2018;Cerrato, Ponticorvo, Gigliotta, Bartolomeo & Miglino, 2019a,b). The tangible physical interfaces in E-TOKEN are disks 4-cm in diameter. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
A bstract Visual neglect is a frequent and disabling consequence of right brain damage. Traditional paper-and- pencil tests of neglect have limitations in sensitivity and ecological validity. The Baking Tray Task (BTT), instead, approaches real-life situations, because it requires participants to place 16 physical objects on a board. The number of objects placed on the left and right portions of the board provides a clinical index of visual neglect. Here we present E-TAN, a technology-enhanced platform which allows patients to perform an enhanced version of the BTT (E-BTT). This platform automatically determines the object locations on the board, and also records the sequence and timing of their placement. We used E-BTT to test 9 patients with right hemisphere damage, and compared their performance with that obtained by 115 healthy participants. To this end, we developed a new method of analysis of participants’ performance, based on the use of the convex hull described by the objects on the board. This measure provides an estimate of the portion of space processed by each participant, and can effectively discriminate neglect patients from patients without neglect. E-TAN allows clinicians to assess visuospatial performance by using a convenient, fast, and relatively automatized procedure, that patients can even perform at home to follow-up the effects of rehabilitation.
... As explained before, gamification consists in using game-like elements in a wide variety of other context, including educational contexts, both formal and informal. The last possibilities is to build Serious Games that can be based on different computing approaches and can be used as teaching and learning tools and as assessment tools [6,12,11] . ...
Chapter
In this paper, we describe an approach to enhance digital creativity in education context, using specific methodologies and tools. Creativity is a key competence in today work market, but in education context, convergent thinking is what is more rewarded. For this reason there is a gap between these dimensions (school and work) about creativity that can be covered adopting an educational approach promoting creativity, mainly in digital contexts. This approach is delineated in detail describing an on-going European project, Docent, an example of the route that can be followed to promote digital creativity in school context both in the educational process and outcomes.
... Here we present ETAN, a platform that supports the use of tangible user interfaces (TUIs, physical manipulable object technologically enhanced) to assess and train spatial abilities; it represents a second version of a tool designed for the evaluation of spatial cognition [25]. In particular, we ideate this prototype to investigate the spatial behaviors of people (children and adults) in relation to their proximal/peripersonal space, that is commonly defined as the space immediately surrounding our bodies [26]. ...
Chapter
Spatial abilities play a key and unique role in structuring many important psychological phenomena including creativity, a quality that in the past was considered for few gifted people. In this paper we examine the important relationship between creative thinking and spatial cognition, and how particular spatial skills can impact on some aspect of the creative process. Moreover, after a brief mention on the neural basis of creativity we present a prototype, supporting tangible interfaces, with which is possible to create tasks that assess and train those spatial abilities linked with creative thinking.
... This means that together with a theoretical understanding on spatial and numerical cognition, it is relevant to design an educational approach which promotes spatial and numerical skills in the form of games. At the same time of training, these tools can be used for assessing spatial abilities [5,4] or related abilities such as reasoning [12] and soft-skills [22,29] also in children. Existing games that can be used for this goal are cards game and building blocks. ...
Chapter
In this paper, the connection between spatial and numerical cognition is highlighted and some applications to improve them are discussed. Indeed, in children, it is possible to promote numerical cognition, which is the base of mathematical cognition and academic achievement in later years, by strengthening their natural endowment to deal both with numerical stimuli and spatial stimuli.
... In this work we present ETAN, a platform that supports the use of tangible user interfaces ( [11,23], physical manipulable object technologically enhanced) to assess and train spatial abilities; the use of tangibles in assessment field is not unusual as showed by several research, both for diagnostic and training purposes [14] This prototype is based on a precedent version of a tool designed for the evaluation of visuospatial cognition [6,8]. ...
Chapter
Visuospatial abilities are framed in the capacity of perceiving, acting and reasoning in function of spatial coordinates, permitting to identify visual and spatial relationships among objects. They represent the set of skills conferring individuals the ability to interact with the surrounding world. Whenever spatial cognition is impaired it is important to correctly assess visuospatial abilities. Scientific literature, for this purpose, reports many diagnostic tools that have been adopted by clinicians and neuropsychologists.
Chapter
Spatial cognition is a function that strongly affects adaptation. This is particularly evident when it is impaired, as often happens after brain injury. Neglect, or hemispatial visual neglect, is a dramatic consequence of right hemisphere damage that leads patient to ignore the left, controlateral part of the space. It is assessed with tasks and tests that require to direct attention on the whole visual field, both on left and right. Also in healthy people, spatial exploration is not perfectly symmetrical, as witnessed by the phenomenon called pseudo-neglect. In recent years, these tools have been enhanced by new technological solutions, producing new data. In this paper, we describe our attempt to use Artificial Intelligence for the assessment of spatial cognition starting from the enhanced version of the Baking Tray Task, the e-BTT. Results indicate that Artificial Intelligence can be an effective method to analyze these new data thus leading to a more comprehensive assessment.
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Introduction Unilateral Spatial Neglect (USN) is a common consequence of right brain damage. In the most severe cases, behavioral signs of USN can last several years and compromise patients’ autonomy and social rehabilitation. These clinical facts stress the need for reliable procedures of diagnosis and rehabilitation. State of the art The last 3 decades have witnessed an explosion of studies on USN, which raises issues related to complex cognitive activities such as mental representation, spatial attention and consciousness. USN is probably a heterogeneous syndrome, but some of its underlying mechanisms might be understood as an association of disorders of spatial attention. A bias of automatic orienting towards right-sided objects seems typical of left USN. Afterwards, patients find it difficult to disengage their attention in order to explore the rest of the visual scene. Neglected objects are sometimes processed in an “implicit” way. Perspectives The development of behavioural paradigms and of neuroimaging techniques and their application to the study of USN has advanced our understanding of the functional mechanisms of attention and spatial awareness, as well as of their neural bases. A number of new procedures for rehabilitation have recently been proposed. Conclusion The present review describes the clinical presentation of USN, its anatomical basis and some of possible accounts of different aspects of neglect behavior. Results of computer simulations and of rehabilitation techniques are also presented with implications for the functioning of normal neurocognitive systems.
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We constructed and developed a brief test assessing capacity for discriminating the direction of lines. Application of the test to patients with unilateral brain disease disclosed a remarkably high frequency of defective performance in those with right hemisphere lesions. The performance of patients with left hemisphere lesions was comparable to that of control patients. Brevity and ease of administration make the test convenient for clinical use.
Article
Six patients with unilateral right hemisphere damage are reported. Each patient performed two tasks that are traditionally regarded as diagnostic for left (peripersonal) visuospatial neglect: target cancellation and horizontal line bisection. Two patients were unimpaired on both tasks, and two were impaired on both. The two remaining patients showed a classic (and reliable) double-dissociation between the tasks. One of the patients who scored within normal limits on both cancellation and bisection showed left sided omissions on representational drawing. We argue that these results question the validity of any unitary concept of unilateral visuo-spatial neglect in peripersonal space.
Article
A test requiring the identification of unfamiliar faces was developed and given to groups of patients with lesions of the left or the right hemisphere as well as to a large group of control patients. Performance level in the control group showed a slight decline with age but was not related to education or sex. The mean performance levels of both brain-damaged groups were significantly inferior to that of the control group. In addition, however, the mean performance level of the patients with right hemisphere lesions was significantly inferior to that of the patients with left hemisphere lesions and grossly defective performances were made mainly by patients with right hemisphere lesions. Performance level was not related to the presence of visual field defect, the presence of aphasia, type of lesion or intrahemispheric locus of lesion. A number of considerations suggested that the observed interhemispheric difference in performance was not related to a possible difference in the extent of lesion in the two groups.
Article
Unilateral visual neglect is a common symptom or sign in patients with lesions of the nondominant hemisphere. Several techniques have been used to demonstrate visual neglect. One such technique--asking a patient to bisect a horizontal line and expecting an estimate of center away from the side neglected--has been used for over 70 years but has not been statistically evaluated. We conducted a formal evaluation of this method and found that under special conditions, line-bisection performance can discriminate between patients with right-hemisphere lesions and patients with diffuse lesions, patients with left-hemisphere lesions, and hospital controls. When used to investigate visual neglect in an individual patient, the line-bisection test should be given in conjunction with other complementary procedures such as symmetric drawings and the Memory-for-Designs Test.
Article
We investigated the ability of 25 patients with left unilateral spatial neglect to make a clock face by putting numbers inside a printed circle. Impairment seen in this clock-drawing test did not parallel neglect severity as judged by results of the line-cancellation and line-bisection tests, as well as the copying of a daisy. The score for clock drawing correlated highly with the verbal WAIS score. Most neglect patients with a verbal IQ of 87 or more could draw a clock face fairly well and used planning in placing the numbers 12, 3, 6, and 9 before the others. In clock drawing, verbal intelligence may compensate for left unilateral spatial neglect. We therefore recommend use of the line-cancellation and line-bisection tests, as well as the copying test, but do not recommend use of the clock-drawing test in the diagnosis of left unilateral spatial neglect.
Article
The validation of a simple quantitative clinical test of personal neglect is described in this study of 17 right brain damaged CVA patients with extrapersonal neglect, 14 without unilateral extrapersonal neglect, 13 left brain damaged CVA patients and 17 age-matched controls. The test had a high reliability and clearly differentiated neglect patients from all other groups. Furthermore the test identified a much higher incidence of personal neglect among extrapersonal neglect patients (59%) than has previously been found. Moreover this study confirms earlier findings by showing a double dissociation between personal and extrapersonal neglect. Seven patients with extrapersonal neglect showed no personal neglect while five patients showing no extrapersonal neglect did show personal neglect on this test.
Article
Spatial neglect is usually assessed using cancellation tests or line bisection. A recent comparison of these tests has revealed a double dissociation, in which one neglect patient was impaired in line bisection but not in star cancellation whereas another showed the reverse deficit. This dissociation has prompted the question whether 'neglect' is still a meaningful theoretical entity. We compared line bisection and cancellation tasks regarding their accuracy in detecting spatial neglect. We tested 35 patients with well-defined spatial neglect using a line bisection task and four different cancellation tasks. The line bisection test missed 40% of our neglect patients. Far superior were the letter cancellation and bells tests, each of which missed only 6% of the cases. A deviation in line bisection is not fundamentally related to spatial neglect, but may also arise from other causes (e.g., hemianopia, or which hand is used), and therefore, should be treated with caution in clinical diagnosis. Cancellation tests, such as the bells test and letter cancellation, are more helpful tools to detect spatial neglect.
Article
This study identified, using a comprehensive review of the literature, 62 standardized and nonstandardized assessment tools that exist to evaluate unilateral spatial neglect (USN). Each standardized tool was critically appraised according to its purpose (hemispace assessed), psychometric properties, and client appropriateness. The findings on the 28 standardized tools were compiled into a USN Assessment Summary Guide to facilitate clinical decision-making regarding the standardized USN assessments that are appropriate for specific clients at different phases of their recovery post stroke.
Computerized neuropsychological assessment in aging: testing efficacy and clinical ecology of different interfaces
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Deep and shallow gamification - shaky evidence and the forgotten power of good games
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