Research Topic

From 2D to 4D: New Approaches to Neurocognitive Assessment of Cognitive and Functional Capacities

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Current neurocognitive assessments have limited facility for making ecologically valid predictions about the impact of a given participant’s neurocognitive abilities and disabilities on everyday functioning. While traditional tests typically use static 2D stimuli for accurate assessment of the construct of ...

Current neurocognitive assessments have limited facility for making ecologically valid predictions about the impact of a given participant’s neurocognitive abilities and disabilities on everyday functioning. While traditional tests typically use static 2D stimuli for accurate assessment of the construct of interest, they often fail at capturing and predicting the functional dimension of cognitive abilities. Moreover, the tasks used to measure cognitive constructs (memory, attention or executive functions) found in traditional cognitive performance tests often have little resemblance to everyday functional capacities found in instrumental activities of daily living. The assessment of participants’ cognitive status during daily routine activities is usually overlooked or under-addressed by this approach.

Many 4D technological advances have emerged in the digital era. There are now several studies that have incorporated these advances in the design of ecologically sound approaches to neurocognitive assessment. Nevertheless, the small number of well-controlled studies (with large sample sizes) aimed at psychometric validation of these 4D technologically enhanced neurocognitive assessments precludes a conclusive answer to the question: “Does it Work?”. In spite of this and other limitations, 4D technology-enhanced assessments continue to evolve. There are now novel solutions and methods that can be added to neurocognitive assessments and provide new opportunities for evolving the research and subsequent knowledge base in this area.

As such, this Research Topic aims at presenting new research that aims to evaluate information and computer technologies, preferably with 4D systems (e.g., virtual environments, computer automated assessments, neuroinformatics, smartphone integration, wearable sensors, low cost and precise motion capture, synthetic virtual human agents, etc.), devised to offer more ecologically valid neurocognitive assessment methods. The editors encourage submission of papers on this topic including (but not limited to) randomized controlled trials, A-B longitudinal designs, meta-analyses or systematic reviews. Studies on all cognitive dimensions and across the lifespan are welcome.


Keywords: cognitive functioning, neurocognitive assessment, ecological measures, 4D technologies


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