Play and participate in the advancement of science is the idea behind the novel study guided by collaborator Véronique Bohbot, a neuroscientist in spatial memory and navigation at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, a facility of the Montréal West Island Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre.
Developed by Deutsche Telekom, the mobile game Sea Hero Quest is quite simple: safely navigate a boat in a virtual world and get around obstacles in search of landmarks. In this context, international researchers evaluate the brain’s behaviour of the players each time they make a navigation decision. They are then able to determine if the player is using a spatial memory or a stimulus-response strategy to navigate. Spatial memory is associated with a reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Over 1.6 million players have already supplied their data for research on Alzheimer’s disease. A first!
Véronique Bohbot’s research falls within the scope of the Aging, Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease Program at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute. What is the program’s objective? To dissect the causes and biological processes involved in diseases linked to aging in order to advance new treatments aiming to prevent or to cure.