Implementation of a platform-agnostic working memory span task using mobile device technology

Brent G. Nelson, Elias Boroda, Kelvin O Lim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Working Memory Span (WMS) tasks are some of the most commonly used tools in cognitive psychology. These tasks involve the presentation of a set of items in a specified sequence. The participant is then asked to recall the sequence of items in forward or reverse order with performance quantified by the maximum number of items correctly recalled. Though initially the test was developed for verbal administration, now with modern computing, these tasks are generally administered via a digital interface. As a result, a variety of implementations have been developed but generally target either research or consumer domains. There has yet to be an offering capable of making the necessary transition from validation in the research lab, through implementation in the clinic, to distribution directly to the consumer. The main barrier has been lack of an open, approachable architecture, robust enough for basic scientists but also technically scalable for wide distribution to consumers. Recent advances in software technology provide the necessary infrastructure for the development of a robust offering. We have developed a WMS task, built on the latest in multi-platform gaming technology, to act as a blueprint for how future tasks can be developed, tested, and distributed. Our implementation describes some of the fundamental principles necessary for cultivation of a rich ecosystem of health diagnostic and therapeutic software.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2016 IEEE Wireless Health, WH 2016
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781509030903
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Event2016 IEEE Wireless Health, WH 2016 - Bethesda, United States
Duration: Oct 25 2016Oct 27 2016

Publication series

Name2016 IEEE Wireless Health, WH 2016


Other2016 IEEE Wireless Health, WH 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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