CIGEV, area gerontology: Research on Lifespan, Multidirectionality and Plasticity – Director: Matthias Kliegel

LifeLog: Using smartphone interactions to assess cognitive behavior

For over a decade, smartphones have progressively made their way into our daily lives. Other than being an everyday companion for personal purposes, the constantly improving performance of technological devices also makes them suitable assistants to professionals in different domains (e.g., mobile health). Lately, research has focused extensively on the impact that smartphones have on our everyday behavior. Recent studies outline that benefits at a personal level also come with a potential cost: Indeed, it has been shown that excessive smartphone usage may have a negative effect on attention, memory, and reward processing. Although research on how smartphones may influence our behavior and cognition is growing, virtually nothing is known about how cognition actually translates through smartphone interactions. Extending the field by the use of innovative and unobtrusive measures through sensor technology is to be considered promising for research in cognitive aging.

In the present project, we investigate how everyday memory and cognition can be assessed and predicted trough individuals’ daily smartphone interactions during two weeks. We aim at extracting different digital biomarkers and investigate their relation to cognitive measures from the laboratory as well as their role in interindividual differences in cognitive performances.