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Tania Mondéjar, Ramón Hervás, Esperanza Johnson, Carlos Gutierrez, José Miguel Latorre.
Journal of Biomedical Informatics (ISI-JCR IF=2.753 Q1) 63 pp. 131-140. October 2016. Elservier
Publication year: 2016

This paper addresses a different point of view of videogames, specifically serious games for health. This paper contributes to that area with a multidisciplinary perspective focus on neurosciences and computation. The experiment population has been pre-adolescents between the ages of 8 and 12 without any cognitive issues. The experiment consisted in users playing videogames as well as performing traditional psychological assessments; during these tasks the frontal brain activity was evaluated. The main goal was to analyse how the frontal lobe of the brain (executive function) works in terms of prominent cognitive skills during five types of game mechanics widely used in commercial videogames. The analysis was made by collecting brain signals during the two phases of the experiment, where the signals were analysed with an electroencephalogram neuroheadset. The validated hypotheses were whether videogames can develop executive functioning and if it was possible to identify which kind of cognitive skills are developed during each kind of typical videogame mechanic. The results contribute to the design of serious games for health purposes on a conceptual level, particularly in support of the diagnosis and treatment of cognitive-related pathologies.

Keywords: Serious gamesPervasive healthHealth gamesBrain-computer interactionExecutive functionsComputational neurosciencesCognitive rehabilitationElectroencephalogram