The PDExergames Project: Personalized Exergames in People with Parkinson's Disease
Date: Thursday, July 26th
Parkinson's Disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders in Germany with an increasing prevalence, due to the demographic change. PD patients suffer from cognitive and motor symptoms, among others, in the course of the disease. To treat PD symptoms only limited pharmacotherapy is available. The invasive deep brain stimulation is also a treatment option for a limited number of patients, only. Therefore, a high demand for non-pharmacological and non-invasive therapies exists.
Motor and cognitive interventions are established treatments in PD care. However, in standard approaches both trainings are applied independent from one another, even though a growing body of evidence exists, confirming the dependencies among the two domains. Furthermore, adherence to long-term training is a problem in chronic disease in general and especially in PD. Indicating a need for motivating and combined trainings of cognitive and motor functions.
Exergaming is a computerized, playful therapy approach. Depending on the scenario, exergames allow simultaneous training of motor function and cognition. Due to the game design motivation for training or playing is increased. PDExergames as a modular training for motor function and cognition might therefore be a promising therapy option in PD patients.
Stealth Assessment — What, Why, and How?
Date: Thursday, July 26th
Games can be powerful vehicles to support learning, but this hinges on getting the assessment part right. In the past couple of years, we have designed, developed, and evaluated a number of stealth assessments in games to see: (a) if they provide valid and reliable estimates of students' developing competencies (e.g., in the areas of qualitative physics understanding, creativity, and persistence); (b) if students can actually learn anything as a function of gameplay; and (c) if the games are still fun. My presentation will cover the topic of stealth assessment in games to measure and support important 21st century competencies. I will describe why it is important, what it is, and how to develop/accomplish it. I will also provide lots of examples and videos in the context of a game we developed called Physics Playground.
Neuroscience of Virtual Reality: The Emergence of Embodied Medicine
Date: Friday, July 27th
Is Virtual Reality (VR) already a reality in behavioral health? Many different papers demonstrated the clinical potential of this technology both in the diagnosis and the treatment of mental health disorders: VR compares favorably to existing treatments in anxiety disorders, eating and weight disorders, and pain management, with long-term effects that generalize to the real world. But why is VR so effective? Here I suggest the following answer: VR shares with our brain the same basic mechanism, embodied simulations. According
to neuroscience our brain, to effectively regulate and control the body in the world, creates an embodied simulation of the body in the world used to represent and predict actions, concepts and emotions. VR works in a similar way: the VR experience tries to predict the sensory consequences of the individual's movements providing to him/her the same scene he/she will see in the real world. To achieve this the VR system, like the brain, maintains a model (simulation) of the body and the space around it. If the presence in the body is the outcome of different embodied simulations, concepts are embodied simulations, and VR is an embodied technology, this suggests a new clinical approach discussed in this keynote: the possibility of altering the experience of the body and facilitating cognitive modelling/change by designing targeted virtual environments able to simulate both the external and the internal world/body.
Confirmed keynote speakers:
Prof. Giuseppe Riva, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy
Prof. Marta Ferrer-García, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Prof. Valerie J. Shute, Florida State University, Tallahassee, USA
M.Sc. Mareike Gooßes, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany