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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Study: Internet-based screening can help detect aging-related cognitive deficits


We just came across a new and fas­ci­nat­ing sci­en­tific paper, titled Devel­op­ment and eval­u­a­tion of a self-admin­is­tered on-line test of mem­o­ry and atten­tion for mid­dle-aged and old­er adults, and pub­lished at Fron­tiers in Aging Neu­ro­science. Here is the very read­able abstract:

There is a need for rapid and reli­able Inter­net-based screen­ing tools for cog­ni­tive assess­ment in mid­dle-aged and old­er adults. We report the psy­cho­me­t­ric prop­er­ties of an on-line tool designed to screen for cog­ni­tive deficits that require fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion. The tool (Editor’s note: Cog­nic­i­ti) is com­posed of mea­sures of mem­o­ry and exec­u­tive atten­tion process­es known to be sen­si­tive to brain changes asso­ci­at­ed with aging and with cog­ni­tive dis­or­ders that become more preva­lent with age. These mea­sures includ­ed spa­tial work­ing mem­o­ry, Stroop inter­fer­ence, face-name asso­cia­tive recog­ni­tion, and num­ber-let­ter alter­na­tion. Nor­ma­tive data were col­lect­ed from 361 healthy adults age 50 to 79 who scored in the nor­mal range on a stan­dard­ized mea­sure of gen­er­al cog­ni­tive abil­i­ty. Par­tic­i­pants took the 20-minute on-line test on their home com­put­ers, and a sub­set of 288 par­tic­i­pants repeat­ed the test one week lat­er. Analy­ses of the indi­vid­ual tasks indi­cat­ed ade­quate inter­nal con­sis­ten­cy, con­struct valid­i­ty, test-retest reli­a­bil­i­ty, and alter­nate ver­sion reli­a­bil­i­ty. As expect­ed, scores were cor­re­lat­ed with age. The four tasks loaded on the same prin­ci­ple com­po­nent. Demo­graph­i­cal­ly-cor­rect­ed z-scores from the indi­vid­ual tasks were com­bined to cre­ate an over­all score, which showed good reli­a­bil­i­ty and clas­si­fi­ca­tion con­sis­ten­cy. These results indi­cate the tool may be use­ful for iden­ti­fy­ing mid­dle-aged and old­er adults with low­er than expect­ed scores who may ben­e­fit from clin­i­cal eval­u­a­tion of their cog­ni­tion by a health care pro­fes­sion­al.”

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Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Health & Wellness

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