Distinguished Innovator Speaker Series: Neuroscience of Attention: Using Video Games to Treat Attention Disorders
March 25, 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Neuroscience of Attention: Using Video Games to Treat Attention Disorders
At some point, we’ve probably all found ourselves immersed in a video game—having fun while trying to advance to the next level. But what if games could do more than entertain? What if they could improve cognitive behaviors and motor skills at the same time?
The concept of neuroplasticity–that our brains are constantly changing with experience– has entered the public conscience resulting in an awareness that one can, and perhaps should strive to improve cognitive performance and learning agility. As part of this awareness, a number of digital video-game based training programs have emerged that promise to take advantage of neuroplasticity to improve cognitive skills in a wide range of participants. While there is good reason for enthusiasm, there are also multiple reasons for maintaining a cautious perspective. In her keynote, Dr. Chukoskie will present her group’s work involving individuals on the autism spectrum and also older adults at risk for cognitive decline using sensor-enabled video games that are driven by gaze. These games offer a unique approach to several of the challenges that all such behavioral interventions face and point to a new and promising direction for this type of intervention in the future.
More about Leanne:
Dr. Chukoskie is the Associate Director for the Research on Autism and Development Laboratory and also the Director of the Power of NeuroGaming (PoNG) Center at the University of California, San Diego. Her scientist appointment lies at the Qualcomm Institute allows her to engage in interdisciplinary research with clinicians, engineers, and educators. Her current research focuses on sensory-motor behavior, especially eye movement behavior and its neural correlates across both typical and atypical development. This focus has evolved from early studies of basic visual and eye movement processes combined with an interest and experience working with individuals on the autism spectrum. Her focus is on the use of sensor-based technology to create closed-loop adaptive systems for interventions and assessments. Together with collaborators at UC San Diego, she has designed and delivered a suite of gaze-contingent training games to improve different aspects of attention and gaze control in children through young adults on the autism spectrum and also older adults. Early success with the research in children and teens led to the creation of a start-up, BrainLeap Technologies, that makes her gaze-driven attention games available to the public. Her team at PoNG has also led the creation of games for training and assessment using a range of sensors for providing feedback including balance boards, wireless EEG headsets, gaze-enabled VR and AR, and mobile phone platforms.