How a Mobile Game Maps the Brain

Understanding the Brain’s Relationship to Dementia Using a Mobile Game

By Will Reid, 9:00 am on

Neuroscientist Dr. Micheal Hornber from the University of Anglia combined efforts with Hugo Spiers from the University College London and six other neuroscientists to find a way to better understand dementia and how the condition affects the brain. The group collaborated with the Glitchers British game company and devised the free mobile game that they named Sea Hero Quest. It is their hope that the findings of their research will yield significant insight into the disease that can be shared with medical providers and Cincinnati Alzheimer’s home care professionals.

The storyline behind the game involves a man and his son who explored the world by ship and documented all of the wondrous creatures that they encountered. However, the journal the two created was lost at sea. Years later, when the boy becomes a man, he endeavors to retrace the voyage and recreate the beloved journal for his father. Game players take the role of the son. The game features five locations that require the player to navigate the watery pathways past buoys where the creatures reside. Occasionally, the player must shoot a tether line to a designated buoy to prevent becoming lost at sea. Player actions also include steering the ship and taking photographs of each creature. 

While the game is somewhat basic for those with normal cognitive abilities and fine motor skills, the actions needed to complete each mission poses a variety of challenges for someone who requires Cincinnati dementia care. This information is what the team of researchers hope to uncover. Each minute played equates to three years of research for the team. The more people who willingly play the game (despite their cognitive abilities), the larger the database of information becomes. 

Players are required to provide their age, gender and country of origin. As each person plays the game, the data is transmitted to the research team who then monitors the progress on a heat map. The map enables the scientists to determine the areas of the brain that function while an individual plays the game. In this way, the team hopes to learn more about the pathways of dementia and hopefully develop better treatment options. 

If your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, help isn’t far away. In addition to participating in research studies and keeping up with the latest research news, you can turn to a reliable Cincinnati senior home care agency like Home Care Assistance to help care for your loved one. We provide flexible Alzheimer’s and dementia care to help your loved one strengthen his or her cognitive abilities while preserving both privacy and dignity. Call 513.891.2273 today to learn more and schedule a no-obligation consultation.