IMPROVING AND SHARING RESEARCH TOOLS
As a publicly funded institution, the UCR Brain Game Center is committed to open science and tool sharing. In addition to making our software freely available, we also develop open-source tools and have projects specifically dedicated to tool sharing.
Building a Shared Infrastructure for Cognitive Assessment in the Service of Cognitive Training Research
This project, R21AG074497 funded by the National Institute of Aging, seeks to develop a common platform of testing cognitive interventions. Effective measurement of cognitive abilities is fundamental to effective diagnostics, risk assessment, and evaluation of interventions targeted towards older adults. With the saturation of smartphone/tablet technology in modern society, a proliferation of mobile cognitive assessments from companies, healthcare providers, and researchers are being developed. However, a difficulty in evaluating such interventions, and in particular making comparison between them, is the lack of standardization/interoperability of assessment tools. Here, we leverage technologies, existing assessment batteries, and know-how from the UCR Brain Game Center, UCSF Neuroscape Center, and UCI Working Memory and Plasticity Lab to develop systems that allow for interoperability of assessments, enrollment/participant tracking systems, data visualization, and participant compliance systems. These systems will be documented and will be shared with other scientists groups to reduce the barrier of entry for other groups.
We are committed to open-source tools and have developed a wide range of tools that support research using the UNITY Game Engine, called BGC Tools. These tools support a wide range of operations ranging from participant management, mathematical operations, state machines, shaders for visual studies, systems for sound generation, tools for IO, and more. We are constantly adding to these powerful systems that can give others a head start on their own projects.
Portable Adaptive Rapid Testing (PART) and BGC Science
A key aspect of the Brain Game Center is tool sharing. Across our different projects, we are constantly developing new approaches to measure cognitive and perceptual abilities that can serve diverse projects and individuals. Given that all of these projects are publicly funded, we strive to share these tools with other groups. The culmination of these activities are the development of PART and BGC Science that enable researchers to use our existing test batteries and/or to configure their own. Please contact us for more information.