An eye-tracking controlled neuropsychological battery for cognitive assessment in neurological diseases

B. Poletti, L. Carelli, F. Solca, A. Lafronza, E. Pedroli, A. Faini, S. Zago, N. Ticozzi, A. Ciammola, C. Morelli, P. Meriggi, P. Cipresso, D. Lulé, A.C. Ludolph, G. Riva, V. Silani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Traditional cognitive assessment in neurological conditions involving physical disability is often prevented by the presence of verbal–motor impairment; to date, an extensive motor–verbal-free neuropsychological battery is not available for such purposes. We adapted a set of neuropsychological tests, assessing language, attentional abilities, executive functions and social cognition, for eye-tracking (ET) control, and explored its feasibility in a sample of healthy participants. Thirty healthy subjects performed a neuropsychological assessment, using an ET-based neuropsychological battery, together with standard “paper and pencil” cognitive measures for frontal (Frontal Assessment Battery—FAB) and working memory abilities (Digit Sequencing Task) and for global cognitive efficiency (Montreal Cognitive Assessment—MoCA). Psychological measures of anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-Y—STAI-Y) and depression (Beck Depression Inventory—BDI) were also collected, and a usability questionnaire was administered. Significant correlations were observed between the “paper and pencil” screening of working memory abilities and the ET-based neuropsychological measures. The ET-based battery also correlated with the MoCA, while poor correlations were observed with the FAB. Usability aspects were found to be influenced by both working memory abilities and psychological components. The ET-based neuropsychological battery developed could provide an extensive assessment of cognitive functions, allowing participants to perform tasks independently from the integrity of motor or verbal channels. Further studies will be aimed at investigating validity and usability components in neurological populations with motor–verbal impairments. © 2017, Springer-Verlag Italia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-603
Number of pages9
JournalNeurological Sciences
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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