Effects of differential learning on elderly's brain : a pilot study
Ho, Christabelle En Qi
Date of Issue2016
National Institute of Education
With the growing prevalence of dementia in Singapore, age-related cognitive declines, especially in the executive functions, pose a huge threat to her ageing population. Recent studies suggest the possibility of using variable practice in motor skill learning to enhance brain activity (Wymbs, Bastian, & Celnik, 2016). The present pilot study will hence examine the brief effects of differential learning approach (DLA) on elderly’s brain activity through the use of electroencephalography (EEG) and document the procedures to undertake such a study. An elderly (male; age: 66) participated in a single session that involved an oddball task. After the pre-test, participant performed the reverse mouse tracing task (RMTT) in non-repetitive trials using DLA. Brain activity during the experimental tasks was recorded with the application of eego sports (ANT Neuro) waveguard EEG cap and amplifier to analyze P3 and alpha power. The results of the pilot study showed that DLA applied in RMTT resulted in superior accuracy (+28.6%) in the oddball task, an increase in P3 amplitude and posterior alpha power changes in the post-test compared to the pre-test. The present findings suggest that novel motor skill learning using DLA may induce positive performance and cognitive processing changes in elderly and support the feasibility of the methods described in this pilot study.
Final Year Project (FYP)