A Study on the Validity of a Computer-Based Game to Assess Cognitive Processes, Reward Mechanisms, and Time Perception in Children Aged 4-8 Years

Janneke C. A. W. Peijnenborgh*, Petra P. M. Hurks, Albert P. Aldenkamp, Erik D. van der Spek, G. W. M. Rauterberg, Johan S. H. Vles, Jos G. M. Hendriksen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

A computer-based game, named Timo's Adventure, was developed to assess specific cognitive functions (eg, attention, planning, and working memory), time perception, and reward mechanisms in young school-aged children. The game consists of 6 mini-games embedded in a story line and includes fantasy elements to enhance motivation. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the validity of Timo's Adventure in normally developing children and in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Methods: A total of 96 normally developing children aged 4-8 years and 40 children with ADHD were assessed using the game. Clinical validity was investigated by examining the effects of age on performances within the normally developing children, as well as performance differences between the healthy controls and the ADHD group. Results: Our analyses in the normally developing children showed developmental effects; that is, older children made fewer inhibition mistakes (r=-.33, P=.001), had faster (and therefore better) reaction times (r=-.49, P
Original languageEnglish
Article numberE15
Number of pages16
JournalJMIR Serious Games
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • experimental games
  • ADHD
  • children
  • neuropsychological test

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