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Vital Mind (VM)
Start date: 01 Jan 2008, End date: 31 Mar 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Cognitive decline in aging people can often be accompanied by mental, physical and social hardship. Cognitive training and, in particular computerized training in executive functioning, memory and speed of processing is associated with prolonging personal autonomy in these three life domains. However, many among the elderly are computer illiterate, and cannot benefit from the growing number of computer programs designed to train cognition. Instead, the elderly resort to television viewing, known to have adverse cognitive effects on aging . Today the elderly represent the largest proportion of the television viewing public. This project will use cognitive psychology, the television medium and advanced interactive Information Computer Technology (ICT) to enable older adults to actively and autonomously participate in mind fitness activities while sitting in front of their TV set. The research question of whether cognitive training will prove more beneficial if trained in de-contextualized, contextualized settings or in both settings will be verified using randomized, double-blind methodology. This home-based tool would be inexpensive and easy to use for healthy or handicapped individuals. The project fits in propitiously with recent developments: DTV is planned for deployment in Europe and the Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting (DVB-T), which will use MHP STB technology including the DVB-C, DVB-S and the IPTV, is planned to replace the Analog Broadcasting by 2010. New advancement in USB Memory Flash Cards ("Disk on Key") and the MHP STB having a USB port will provide new alternatives for delivery of content to the TV. Vital Mind also proposes innovative developments in the detection of hand movements, non-speech (vocal) as well as in the use of the iDTV remote control so as to enable and facilitate the user's autonomous participation in the cognitive training program
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