Individuals’ Variables in Cognitive Abilities Using a Narrative Serious Game

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11243)


Age, gender, and education represent crucial variables in the assessment and interpretation of traditional neuropsychological measures as regards the executive functions (EF). Currently, traditional measures are showing limitations in capturing real life behaviors and new technologies, such as serious games, are allowing creating more real situations with higher ecological validity. In the present study, we applied a serious game approach to investigate individual variables-related differences in the EF assessment. 268 healthy subjects participated in the study, completing 14 tasks (6 standard tasks; 8 serious games) randomly presented. The results showed that younger participants completed tasks in less time than older and with higher correct answers. Furthermore, males registered shorter reaction times, while females showed higher percentages of correct answers. The university studies group obtained higher total score and correct answers than high school studies group. Finally, since the study involved technology, we divided the group in high and low use technology level, obtaining that participants with a lower level of use technologies reported higher latency times and lower correct answers in high order EF tasks than the group with higher level of use of technology. As the traditional measure, these findings suggest that individuals’ differences are critical variables to consider in the development of more ecological measures for the assessment of EFs.


Serious game Executive functions Age Education Gender Behavioral assessment Ecological validity 



This work was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness funded project “Advanced Therapeutically Tools for Mental Health” (DPI2016-77396-R).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Investigación e Innovación en Bioingeniería (I3B)Universitat Politècnica de ValènciaValènciaSpain

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