Random Item Generation Is Affected by Age Purpose Random item generation (RIG) involves central executive functioning. Measuring aspects of random sequences can therefore provide a simple method to complement other tools for cognitive assessment. We examine the extent to which RIG relates to specific measures of cognitive function, and whether those measures can be estimated using RIG ... Research Note
Research Note  |   October 01, 2016
Random Item Generation Is Affected by Age
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Namita Multani
    Oral Dynamics Lab, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Frank Rudzicz
    University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Toronto Rehabilitation Institute—University Health Network, Ontario, Canada
  • Wing Yiu Stephanie Wong
    Oral Dynamics Lab, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Aravind Kumar Namasivayam
    Oral Dynamics Lab, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Toronto Rehabilitation Institute—University Health Network, Ontario, Canada
  • Pascal van Lieshout
    Oral Dynamics Lab, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Toronto Rehabilitation Institute—University Health Network, Ontario, Canada
    Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Frank Rudzicz: frank@cs.toronto.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Swathi Kiran
    Associate Editor: Swathi Kiran×
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Notes
Research Note   |   October 01, 2016
Random Item Generation Is Affected by Age
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2016, Vol. 59, 1172-1178. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-15-0077
History: Received February 20, 2015 , Revised September 30, 2015 , Accepted January 25, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2016, Vol. 59, 1172-1178. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-15-0077
History: Received February 20, 2015; Revised September 30, 2015; Accepted January 25, 2016

Purpose Random item generation (RIG) involves central executive functioning. Measuring aspects of random sequences can therefore provide a simple method to complement other tools for cognitive assessment. We examine the extent to which RIG relates to specific measures of cognitive function, and whether those measures can be estimated using RIG only.

Method Twelve healthy older adults (age: M = 70.3 years, SD = 4.9; 8 women and 4 men) and 20 healthy young adults (age: M = 24 years, SD = 4.0; 12 women and 8 men) participated in this pilot study. Each completed a RIG task, along with the color Stroop test, the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status, and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test–Fourth Edition (Dunn & Dunn, 2007). Several statistical features extracted from RIG sequences, including recurrence quantification, were found to be related to the other measures through correlation, regression, and a neural-network model.

Results The authors found significant effects of age in RIG and demonstrate that nonlinear machine learning can use measures of RIG to accurately predict outcomes from other tools.

Conclusions These results suggest that RIG can be used as a relatively simple predictor for other tools and in particular seems promising as a potential screening tool for selective attention in healthy aging.

Acknowledgments
This research was undertaken, in part, thanks to funding from the Canada Research Chairs program, awarded to Pascal van Lieshout. Frank Rudzicz was supported by a startup grant from the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute–University Health Network, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Discovery Grant RGPIN 435874, and a Young Investigator award from the Alzheimer's Society of Canada. We thank Francesca Granata for her suggested changes to the final proof.
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