PsychEng Seminar: Cognitive Assessment of Executive Functions using Serious Games with Mark Chignell

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Room 2135, Bahen Centre
40 St. George Street

Registration required.

View all upcoming PsychEng seminars.




This presentation will review several years of work on developing serious games for cognitive assessment with particular focus on executive functioning. First reviewed is a game that Dr. Mark Chignell has developed for delirium screening in emergency departments, with Dr. Jacques Lee of Sunnybrook and Mt. Sinai hospitals.

Next presented is a battery of serious games that Dr. Chignell and his team are developing with Dr. Bruce Morton of Western University. Currently, a set of six games implements six different psychological tasks (cognitive speed, response inhibition, working memory, cognitive flexibility, spatial attention, delayed match to sample), but with a common whacamole game design.

Each game will be demonstrated before presenting BrainTagger, a social media-friendly version of the game that is being used to collect normative data for different age groups.  Experimental data will be presented showing that this response-inhibition game is highly correlated with the Go/No-Go task, a standard psychological measure of response inhibition.

Next discussed are plans for using fMRI brain scanning while playing these games to validate the types of brain activation that are produced by playing each game. After the presentation, Dr. Chignell would like to have a discussion on the role of serious games in cognitive assessment, and the benefits of having frequent cognitive assessment as people get older.


Mark Chignell has been a member of the Mechanical & Industrial Engineering faculty since 1990. Prior to that he was an Assistant Professor in Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Southern California from 1984 to 1990. Professor Chignell taught in the Psychology Department at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia from 1980 to 1982. He has a PhD in Psychology (University of Canterbury, New Zealand, 1981), and an MS in Industrial and Systems Engineering (Ohio State, 1984). He was formerly (2013-2017) the Director of the Knowledge Media Design Institute at the University of Toronto, and the BUL Chair in Human Computer Interaction. He has been a visiting scientist at the IBM Centre for Advanced Studies in Toronto since 2002 and he was a visiting scientist at Keio University from 2005 to 2010.

Professor Chignell has co-authored books on expert systems and intelligent databases (published by John Wiley & Sons) and he has co-edited three books. He has many journal and conference papers on topics such as hypertext and information retrieval, user interface design and healthcare applications. His research has been funded by the Bell University Laboratories, the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), IBM, the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, TELUS, Oki Corporation, Ricoh Corporation, and Apple Computer. He has founded two start-up companies, and currently runs Vocalage Inc., a high tech consulting and product development firm.


RSVP at least 24 hours before seminar using below link:

PsychEng Seminar Reservation: Prof. Mark Chignell Oct 10: Cognitive Assessment of Executive Functions using Serious Games





The PsychEng seminar series (part of the Collaborative Specialization in Psychology and Engineering) aims to spark and/or showcase interdisciplinary research at the intersection of engineering and psychology.

The seminars cover a wide range of topics between these two disciplines and provides a forum for discussion and critical analysis on corresponding research areas. The seminars are presented by psychology or engineering researchers and attended by professors, researchers and students in both (and occasionally other) fields.

The PsychEng seminar series is coordinated by Professor Li Shu.

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