Evaluating age-related variations of gaze behavior for a novel digitized-digit symbol substitution test
Analysis of cognitive functioning from gaze behavior might serve as an early indicator of age related decline of cognitive functions. Standard psychological tests like the digit-symbol substitution test or the symbol-digit modalities test is used exclusively in this regard. In this paper, we have designed and developed a digitized version of the digit symbol substitution test. Three different versions have been designed in order to derive deeper insights of the user behavior. The test-retest validation of the versions reveals good correlation across sessions. Fur-ther, the difference in gaze behavior which might be used as an indicator of cognitive functions is tested for two different age groups (13 participants<30 years and 11 participants >40 years). It is seen that the designed digitized version along with the usage of physiological markers like eye tracking bestows additional information and is sensitive to age related factors which might be used for the assessment as well as for the training purpose in rehabilitation systems. Results show that the performance can be analyzed using gaze and pupillometric features in addition to the conventional test performance metrics. We derived an index to measure the performance related to visuo-spatial functioning on one of the de-signed versions of the test. Results of this index on the number of fixations for two age groups are found to be separated in a statistically significant (p<0.05) manner. The age related difference (p<0.05) is also evident in the pupillometric responses obtained.
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