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Addressing aging-related cognitive decline via targeted training using visual sweeps: Key neurotech patent by Posit Science

visual sweeps

– Illus­tra­tive image from U.S. Patent No. 8,215,961

Today we are fea­tur­ing a 2012 patent by Posit Sci­ence Cor­po­ra­tion, the devel­op­er of Brain­HQ cog­ni­tive train­ing sys­tem.

U.S. Patent No. 8,215,961: Cog­ni­tive train­ing using visu­al sweeps

  • Assignee(s): Posit Sci­ence Cor­po­ra­tion
  • Inventor(s): Michael M. Merzenich, Peter B. Delahunt, Joseph L. Hardy, Stephen G. Lis­berg­er, Hen­ry W. Mah­ncke
  • Tech­nol­o­gy Cat­e­go­ry: Neu­rocog­ni­tive train­ing
  • Issue Date: July 10, 2012

SharpBrains’ Take:

The back­ground of the ‘961 patent describes the decline in cog­ni­tive func­tion asso­ci­at­ed with aging, such as the reduced abil­i­ty to com­pre­hend and respond to stim­u­lus. For exam­ple, the recon­struc­tion of an order in which objects (of vary­ing size, col­or, type, etc.) are pre­sent­ed may gen­er­al­ly be less accu­rate by an old­er indi­vid­ual in the last decades of his/her nat­ur­al lifes­pan as com­pared to that same indi­vid­ual when they were in their 20’s. The teach­ings of the ‘961 patent aim to pro­vide soft­ware train­ing to pre­serve and improve cog­ni­tive tasks as they apply to “real-world” behav­ioral abil­i­ties. A series of dis­tinct pat­terns, such as two pat­terns with dif­fer­ing fre­quen­cies as shown in the illus­tra­tive image above (“in” being a high­er fre­quen­cy pat­tern and “out” being a low­er fre­quen­cy pat­tern), are iter­a­tive­ly pre­sent­ed to the user so that the user may dif­fer­en­ti­ate between the two pat­terns and there­by train recog­ni­tion abil­i­ties.

The inter­est­ing approach to cog­ni­tive train­ing (i.e., pat­tern recognition/differentation) along with a sub­stan­tial claim set (45 in total) that includes a “pick­et-fence” of inde­pen­dent claims (sev­en in total) are amongst the fac­tors mak­ing the ‘961 patent a key non-inva­sive neu­rotech­nol­o­gy patent.

Abstract:

A com­put­er-imple­ment­ed method for enhanc­ing cog­ni­tive abil­i­ty of an old­er par­tic­i­pant by requir­ing the par­tic­i­pant to dif­fer­en­ti­ate between rapid­ly pre­sent­ed visu­al stim­uli. First and sec­ond visu­al sweeps are pro­vid­ed for visu­al pre­sen­ta­tion to the par­tic­i­pant, e.g., spa­tial fre­quen­cy or ori­en­ta­tion sweeps. At least two visu­al sweeps are visu­al­ly pre­sent­ed to the par­tic­i­pant uti­liz­ing the first visu­al sweep, the sec­ond visu­al sweep, or a com­bi­na­tion. The par­tic­i­pant is required to indi­cate an order in which the at least two visu­al sweeps were pre­sent­ed. A deter­mi­na­tion is made regard­ing whether the par­tic­i­pant indi­cat­ed the order of the visu­al sweeps cor­rect­ly. The visu­al­ly pre­sent­ing, requir­ing, and deter­min­ing are repeat­ed one or more times in an iter­a­tive man­ner to improve the participant’s cog­ni­tion. The dura­tion of the sweeps may be adjust­ed based on the correctness/incorrectness of the participant’s response accord­ing to a max­i­mum like­li­hood pro­ce­dure. Assess­ments may be made dur­ing the exer­cise.

Illus­tra­tive Claim 10. A method for suc­ces­sive­ly stim­u­lat­ing a vari­ety of pref­er­en­tial­ly tuned neu­rons in the ear­ly visu­al cor­tex to enhance visu­al sen­so­ry pro­cess­ing and cog­ni­tion in a par­tic­i­pant, uti­liz­ing a com­put­ing device to present visu­al stim­uli train­ing exer­cis­es based on visu­al sweeps, and to record respons­es from the par­tic­i­pant, the method com­pris­ing:

  • pro­vid­ing first and sec­ond spa­tial fre­quen­cy sweeps, where­in the first spa­tial fre­quen­cy sweep com­pris­es a sweep pat­tern that increas­es in fre­quen­cy over time, and where­in the sec­ond spa­tial fre­quen­cy sweep com­pris­es a sweep pat­tern that decreas­es in fre­quen­cy over time, and where­in the first and sec­ond visu­al sweeps are avail­able for visu­al pre­sen­ta­tion to the par­tic­i­pant;
  • sequen­tial­ly visu­al­ly pre­sent­ing at least two spa­tial fre­quen­cy sweeps to the par­tic­i­pant uti­liz­ing either the first spa­tial fre­quen­cy sweep, the sec­ond spa­tial fre­quen­cy sweep, or a com­bi­na­tion of the first and sec­ond spa­tial fre­quen­cy sweeps;
  • requir­ing the par­tic­i­pant to indi­cate an order in which the at least two spa­tial fre­quen­cy sweeps were pre­sent­ed;
  • the com­put­ing device deter­min­ing whether the par­tic­i­pant indi­cat­ed the order of the at least two spa­tial fre­quen­cy sweeps cor­rect­ly; and
  • repeat­ing said sequen­tial­ly visu­al­ly pre­sent­ing, said requir­ing, and said deter­min­ing one or more times in an iter­a­tive man­ner to improve the participant’s cog­ni­tion.

To learn more about mar­ket data, trends and lead­ing com­pa­nies in the dig­i­tal brain health space –dig­i­tal plat­forms for brain/ cog­ni­tive assess­ment, mon­i­tor­ing and enhance­ment– check out this mar­ket report. To learn more about our analy­sis of 10,000+ patent fil­ings, check out this IP & inno­va­tion neu­rotech report.

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