Implementation of a Platform-Agnostic Working Memory Span Task using Mobile Device Technology

Brent Nelson1, Elias Boroda1, Kelvin Lim1

  • 1University of Minnesota
Also at:
15:30 - 16:30 | Wednesday 26 October 2016 | Main Auditorium



Contributed Papers (Poster)


08:30 - 19:30 | Wed 26 Oct | Auditorium Foyer | WePOS

Poster Session

15:30 - 16:30 | Wed 26 Oct | Main Auditorium | IS-1

Ignite Session 1


Working Memory Span (WMS) tasks are some of the most commonly used tools in cognitive psychology. These tasks involve the presentation of a set of items in a specified sequence. The participant is then asked to recall the sequence of items in forward or reverse order with performance quantified by the maximum number of items correctly recalled. Though initially the test was developed for verbal administration, now with modern computing, these tasks are generally administered via a digital interface. As a result, a variety of implementations have been developed but generally target either research or consumer domains. There has yet to be an offering capable of making the necessary transition from validation in the research lab, through implementation in the clinic, to distribution directly to the consumer. The main barrier has been lack of an open, approachable architecture, robust enough for basic scientists but also technically scalable for wide distribution to consumers. Recent advances in software technology provide the necessary infrastructure for the development of a robust offering. We have developed a WMS task, built on the latest in multi-platform gaming technology, to act as a blueprint for how future tasks can be developed, tested, and distributed. Our implementation describes some of the fundamental principles necessary for cultivation of a rich ecosystem of health diagnostic and therapeutic software.

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