Limits...
Training cognitive control in older adults with the space fortress game: the role of training instructions and basic motor ability.

Blumen HM, Gopher D, Steinerman JR, Stern Y - Front Aging Neurosci (2010)

Bottom Line: Older adults showed improved performance on the SF task over time, but did not perform at the same level as younger adults.Unlike studies of younger adults, overall SF performance in older adults was greater following standard instructions than following EC instructions.However, this advantage was primarily due to collecting more bonus points and not - the primary goal of the game - shooting and destroying the fortress, which in contrast benefited from EC instructions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cognitive Neuroscience Division, Taub Institute, Columbia University New York, NY, USA.

ABSTRACT
This study examined if and how cognitively healthy older adults can learn to play a complex computer-based action game called the Space Fortress (SF) as a function of training instructions [Standard vs. Emphasis Change (EC); e.g., Gopher et al., 1989] and basic motor ability. A total of 35 cognitively healthy older adults completed a 3-month SF training program with three SF sessions weekly. Twelve 3-min games were played during each session. Basic motor ability was assessed with an aiming task, which required rapidly rotating a spaceship to shoot targets. Older adults showed improved performance on the SF task over time, but did not perform at the same level as younger adults. Unlike studies of younger adults, overall SF performance in older adults was greater following standard instructions than following EC instructions. However, this advantage was primarily due to collecting more bonus points and not - the primary goal of the game - shooting and destroying the fortress, which in contrast benefited from EC instructions. Basic motor ability was low and influenced many different aspects of SF game learning, often interacted with learning rate, and influenced overall SF performance. These findings show that older adults can be trained to deal with the complexity of the SF task but that overall SF performance, and the ability to capitalize on EC instructions, differs when a basic ability such as motor control is low. Hence, the development of this training program as a cognitive intervention that can potentially compensate for age-related cognitive decline should consider that basic motor ability can interact with the efficiency of training instructions that promote the use of cognitive control (e.g., EC instructions) - and the confluence between such basic abilities and higher-level cognitive control abilities should be further examined.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

(A) Fortress hit by Missile as a function of training instructions (EC vs. Standard) in participants with low (<450) subject-specific aiming scores. (B) Fortress hit by Missile as a function of training instructions (EC vs. Standard) in participants with high (>450) subject-specific aiming scores.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2991174&req=5

Figure 4: (A) Fortress hit by Missile as a function of training instructions (EC vs. Standard) in participants with low (<450) subject-specific aiming scores. (B) Fortress hit by Missile as a function of training instructions (EC vs. Standard) in participants with high (>450) subject-specific aiming scores.

Mentions: Follow-up univariate analyses revealed a three-way interaction between Week, Condition, and Aiming on the ability to score hits against the fortress (Fortress hit by Missile), F(11, 341) = 3.92, p < 0.05, We dichotomized Aiming in terms of high and low aiming scores and then graphed Fortress hits by Missiles for high and low aimers in the EC and AC condition separately, to visualize this three-way interaction (see Figures 4A,B). As is evident from these graphs, participants with low aiming scores who were assigned to the EC condition and the AC condition displayed similar improvements across training weeks. However, participants with high aiming scores that were assigned to the EC condition, shot more missiles against the fortress than participants with high aiming scores that were assigned to the AC condition, particularly during the later weeks of training. Participants in the AC condition, however, tended to collect more bonus points (Bonus Taken) than participants in the EC condition throughout the 3-month training program, F(1, 31) = 4.74, p < 0.05, (see Figure 5). The ability to destroy the fortress (Fortress Destruction) interacted with Week, Condition, and Aiming, F(11,341) = 4.74, p < 0.05, Again, we dichotomized aiming into low and high in order to visualize this three-way interaction (see Figures 6A,B). As is evident from these graphs, Fortress Destruction among high aimers did not differ as a function of Week and Condition. However, among low aimers Fortress Destruction in the EC condition was greater than in the AC condition, particularly during the later weeks of training. No main effects or interactions were observed in the Ship Damage by Fortress measure. In the Ship Damage by Mine measure, however, there was a two-way interaction between Week and Aiming, F(11, 341) = 2.71, p < 0.05, such that aiming had more of an effect during the later weeks of training.


Training cognitive control in older adults with the space fortress game: the role of training instructions and basic motor ability.

Blumen HM, Gopher D, Steinerman JR, Stern Y - Front Aging Neurosci (2010)

(A) Fortress hit by Missile as a function of training instructions (EC vs. Standard) in participants with low (<450) subject-specific aiming scores. (B) Fortress hit by Missile as a function of training instructions (EC vs. Standard) in participants with high (>450) subject-specific aiming scores.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2991174&req=5

Figure 4: (A) Fortress hit by Missile as a function of training instructions (EC vs. Standard) in participants with low (<450) subject-specific aiming scores. (B) Fortress hit by Missile as a function of training instructions (EC vs. Standard) in participants with high (>450) subject-specific aiming scores.
Mentions: Follow-up univariate analyses revealed a three-way interaction between Week, Condition, and Aiming on the ability to score hits against the fortress (Fortress hit by Missile), F(11, 341) = 3.92, p < 0.05, We dichotomized Aiming in terms of high and low aiming scores and then graphed Fortress hits by Missiles for high and low aimers in the EC and AC condition separately, to visualize this three-way interaction (see Figures 4A,B). As is evident from these graphs, participants with low aiming scores who were assigned to the EC condition and the AC condition displayed similar improvements across training weeks. However, participants with high aiming scores that were assigned to the EC condition, shot more missiles against the fortress than participants with high aiming scores that were assigned to the AC condition, particularly during the later weeks of training. Participants in the AC condition, however, tended to collect more bonus points (Bonus Taken) than participants in the EC condition throughout the 3-month training program, F(1, 31) = 4.74, p < 0.05, (see Figure 5). The ability to destroy the fortress (Fortress Destruction) interacted with Week, Condition, and Aiming, F(11,341) = 4.74, p < 0.05, Again, we dichotomized aiming into low and high in order to visualize this three-way interaction (see Figures 6A,B). As is evident from these graphs, Fortress Destruction among high aimers did not differ as a function of Week and Condition. However, among low aimers Fortress Destruction in the EC condition was greater than in the AC condition, particularly during the later weeks of training. No main effects or interactions were observed in the Ship Damage by Fortress measure. In the Ship Damage by Mine measure, however, there was a two-way interaction between Week and Aiming, F(11, 341) = 2.71, p < 0.05, such that aiming had more of an effect during the later weeks of training.

Bottom Line: Older adults showed improved performance on the SF task over time, but did not perform at the same level as younger adults.Unlike studies of younger adults, overall SF performance in older adults was greater following standard instructions than following EC instructions.However, this advantage was primarily due to collecting more bonus points and not - the primary goal of the game - shooting and destroying the fortress, which in contrast benefited from EC instructions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cognitive Neuroscience Division, Taub Institute, Columbia University New York, NY, USA.

ABSTRACT
This study examined if and how cognitively healthy older adults can learn to play a complex computer-based action game called the Space Fortress (SF) as a function of training instructions [Standard vs. Emphasis Change (EC); e.g., Gopher et al., 1989] and basic motor ability. A total of 35 cognitively healthy older adults completed a 3-month SF training program with three SF sessions weekly. Twelve 3-min games were played during each session. Basic motor ability was assessed with an aiming task, which required rapidly rotating a spaceship to shoot targets. Older adults showed improved performance on the SF task over time, but did not perform at the same level as younger adults. Unlike studies of younger adults, overall SF performance in older adults was greater following standard instructions than following EC instructions. However, this advantage was primarily due to collecting more bonus points and not - the primary goal of the game - shooting and destroying the fortress, which in contrast benefited from EC instructions. Basic motor ability was low and influenced many different aspects of SF game learning, often interacted with learning rate, and influenced overall SF performance. These findings show that older adults can be trained to deal with the complexity of the SF task but that overall SF performance, and the ability to capitalize on EC instructions, differs when a basic ability such as motor control is low. Hence, the development of this training program as a cognitive intervention that can potentially compensate for age-related cognitive decline should consider that basic motor ability can interact with the efficiency of training instructions that promote the use of cognitive control (e.g., EC instructions) - and the confluence between such basic abilities and higher-level cognitive control abilities should be further examined.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus