- Read to Me function with voice over and soundtrack
- §Interactive educational diagrams
- Three mini-games
- Over 30 neuroscience concepts introduced
Friday, December 14, 2012
PS: The website belongs to Ellen Johnston McHenry, who is a home-school curriculum author. Among others she published The Brain: An introduction to neurology for ages 8-14 - a very nice, comprehensive book that starts from zero and ends somewhere at the early undergraduate level while explaining everything gently. Worth having a look (here)!
For those who did not attend the workshop: the system had very little to do with neuropsychology, but was very impressive, and useful for those who are doing treatment. It is mostly used for stress reduction and improvement in emotional self-regulation. A very nice gizmo for under $200. Good amount of information on the website.
Monday, December 3, 2012
iPad mini is a darling! And so is my husband.
The screen 'feels' the same size as the full- sized iPad and is much crisper to view - I think it may be using smaller pixels.
Typing is also quite comfortable, much more comfortable than on my netbook, which also has a small keyboard.
I admit that typing may not be as easy for the guys.
Also, the main advantage of the iPad mini (fits easily into a handbag) may not appeal as much to the male of the species.
Anyway, on to the third, and arguably the most important, part of testing on the iPad:
The Q-interactive from Pearson.
For those who didn't go to the conference, or were too busy to visit the Pearson stand while there, Pearson is releasing a new way of administering tests.
WAIS, WISC, CVLT and four subtexts of D-KEFS are being released on an iPad. Soon to be followed by Children's Memory Scale, NEPSY and WMS. If you go to www.helloq.com/home/ you can watch a video that tells you how much this new technology will change our way of doing things.
However, I would not worry about any drastic changes yet. For this release, Pearson is using the old normative data, so the administration needs to be very similar to that performed using the old booklets and pen. So, instead of writing on paper, you write with the stylus on the iPad screen. The are a few benefits: information about discontinuation is clearly provided, you can record audio during testing (but not save it with the rest of the data), and the scoring criteria are provided with each question.
On the minus side, to use the system, you need 2 iPads. So why would you buy them just to do the same testing in a more showy way?
The benefit is in the pricing. You pay $300 per year for the use of the system, and then you only pay for the tests or subtests you use. The price per subtest is currently set at $1.50, which adds up to $15/client, considerably more than the cost of the booklets (these are current prices from the US, that may change on travelling all the way across the ocean to Australia).
So far, not that good. BUT I understand that there is no upfront cost for any of the batteries. And this is where it gets worthwhile. For people who are starting a practice, and for those times when we need to update a test battery to a newer version, the iPad administration is suddenly very worthwhile. Add a little glamour that comes with shiny new electronic toys, and with time we will all move over to the new way of testing.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
A neat way to record all your current medications. Keeps a history of medication changes and lets you set reminders to take your pills.
Simple - but so useful. Don't we all love the clients that come to our offices with all their medications nicely listed for us? Let's spread the word and we'll get more of them.
It is a nice app, and free.
Thank you Katie,
Saturday, November 3, 2012
I needed detailed information on significance of WISC-IV test-retest differences, and there is not that much available on that topic. So I looked through a few books, a few google searches, and finally found a treasure trove.
Google books lets you look up a few pages of a book that deals with a topic that you are searching on. So I finally found the tables giving me information on significant differences between two assessment scores in Pediatric Forensic Neuropsychology by Sherman and Irooks. The book was published in 2012, and is not available electronically. Well, apart from these precious few pages that answered my question. Brilliant.
Be careful using this resource, though. Google Books need to abide by copyright laws, and there are viewing limits for books. Once you exceed them, you cannot look up things in that book any more.
Still, it is worth it for these tricky questions.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Mind you, when having a talk about neuropsychology at my 3-rd grader's class, I told them that we are interested in the brain and showed them this image.
PS: and here is another website with brain T-shirts and gifts. Very nice artwork. And there are a few here as well.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Star Cancellation by NeuropsychApps - free
This is an iPad version of the paper star cancellation task. Because an iPad's screen is smaller than an A4 page, there is fewer stars to be found. It automatically scores omissions and repeated touching of stimuli. Unfortunately, no normative data. Nevertheless, I copied it down for the times when a test of neglect appears suddenly very useful and have nothing to hand. I have now checked it out and it is nicely intuitive and easy to use.
neglectTest by Jan Greve - $19.95
This one converts the pen and paper tests we love and use for testing visuo-spatial function and neglect (e.g. a copy of a cube) into an electronic format. Results are converted to PDF so that they can be emailed or printed.
However, the description provided no information about any normative data, and the screen shots were in German, so considering the price I did not buy it. If somebody is interested enough to buy this app, please post a review in the comments.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Sunday, August 12, 2012
NIH toolbox is a tool being developed by the National Institute of Health - a computer based test of various aspects of cognitive emotional, sensory and motor functions. It is extensively normed, and available free, at least to the research community. To be unveiled in September.
A short Lancet article on it can be found here.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
The Open Culture website has a list of online psychology courses here:
- Brain Structure and its Origins - iTunes - Gerald Schneider, MIT
- Buddhist Psychology - iTunes - Eleanor Rosch, UC Berkeley
- Clinical Psychology - iTunes - Ann Kring, UC Berkeley
- Cognitive Neuroscience - iTunes - Richard Ivry, UC Berkeley
- Communication and Conflict in Families and Couples - YouTube - Benjamin Karney, UCLA
- Developmental Psychology - iTunes - Alison Gopnik, UC Berkeley
- General Psychology - iTunes Audio - John Kihlstrom, UC Berkeley
- How to Think Like a Psychologist - iTunes Video - Multiple profs – Stanford
- Human Emotion - iTunes Audio - Dacher Keltner, UC Berkeley
- Human Happiness - iTunes - Dacher Keltner, UC Berkeley
- Introduction to Psychology - YouTube - iTunes
Audio - iTunes Video - Download Course, Paul Bloom, Yale
- Introduction to Psychology - iTunes - MP3s - Jeremy Wolfe, MIT
- Introduction to Psychology - YouTube - John Gabrieli, MIT
- Neural Networks and Biological Modeling - Web Video - Wolfram Gerstner, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
- Neuroscience and Behavior - iTunes - Download Course - Gerald Schneider, MIT
- Research and Data Analysis in Psychology - YouTube - iTunes Video - Frederic Theunissen, UC Berkeley
- Scientific Approaches to Consciousness - iTunes Audio - YouTube - Professor John F. Kihlstrom, UC Berkeley
- Social Psychology: Self and Society - iTunes Audio - Robb Willer, UC Berkeley
- The New Psychology of Depression - iTunes Audio - Web Audio - Mark Williams and Danny Penman, Oxford
- The Psychology, Biology and Politics of Food - Download Course - Professor Kelly D. Brownell, Yale
At first, it seems to be unfeasible to perform an assessment via videoconferencing or Skype, with all the blocks and paperwork to manipulate. However, I have conducted quite a few assessment through a glass pane and microphone/speaker arrangement in custody, where I can only move assessment materials across at the beginning and the end of a session - I thought that it parallels a video-conferenced assessment quite well and was thinking that if I can do this, I can surely do the same thing looking at a monitor.
I think that it could be done by Skype/videoconferencing quite successfully. The main thing would be having the camera show both the person and the desk at the same time, and having somebody present at least at the beginning and end of session to hand out and take away the materials. Although theoretically, this could be done by opening a sealed envelope during the session and re-sealing it in a secure way after the assessment is completed.
I believe that there is at least one Neuropsychologist may be doing assessments over Skype, and another who is thinking of doing initial interviews over Skype to screen people that are unsuitable for a formal assessment.
This is an exciting topic, I'd love to get a discussion going.
"Elizabeth Mullaly" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Aug 02 11:03PM +1000
Has anybody had experience of conducting assessments via videoconferencing?
I have been asked to look into this as part of a project at Caulfiel Hospital. My email is email@example.com
Many thanks, Liz
This is a mouse controller for people who cannot move their hands well, but have control over head movement. It is free and uses a web-camera and head movements to move a computer mouse. It should work with any Windows program. For more information, visit http://cameramouse.org/about.html.
Faye suggests that it could also have uses in adapting tests such as blocks, Rey Figure or Wisconsin Card Sorting Test for people who do not have hand control.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Check out http://www.brainline.org/. It is an excellent website for our clients and their family members, with lots of information about brain injuries, from locked-in syndrome to concussion. Use the search feature to discover a lot more resources than initially visible. Apart from iPhone and iPad apps, there are also apps for the Android system, and a whole lot of other goodies.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
If you are prefer concentrating on neuropsychological topics, I would suggest this article on how to use various technological tools to keep up with literature.
Also, I will add another reminder here about the fact that APS has access to full-text articles at http://www.psychology.org.au/publications/journals/ (for members only, unfortunately).
This seems to be an excellent, very thorough compilation of various technologies of which, I believe, we need to be aware. A whole range of gadgets and services that I was not aware of. For example, did you know that sign language interpreting is available via Skype?
Assistive Technology in the Workplace for People with a Disability
This booklet includes sections on assistive technology for people who are deaf/hearing impaired, are blind/vision-impaired, are deaf/blind, have physical disabilities, and have a learning disability. It also includes a section on the accessibility features of smartphones/iPads/tablet computers and a section on JobAccess and the Disability Employment Service.
- Are over 16 years of age
- Have a history of TBI
- Have no other premorbid neurological condition
- Have an adequate ability to speak and read English
The process of recruitment would be that clinicians would give the attached flyer to clients who meet the above criteria, and obtain their permission to be contacted by Liz, and/or ask them to contact Liz directly. If you are willing to give the flyer to your clients, we would be most grateful - please contact Elizabeth Seabrook at firstname.lastname@example.org for further info.
We have ethics approval for this study from both Epworth HREC and Monash University.
De Leo, G., Brivio, E., Sautter, S.W. (2011). Supporting Autobiographical Memory in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease Using Smart Phones. Applied Neuropsychology, 18:1, 69-76.
Svoboda, E., Richards, B., Leach L., & Mertens V., (2012).PDA and smartphone use by individuals with moderate-to-severe memory impairment:Application of a theory-driven training programme, Neuropsychological Rehabilitation:An International Journal, 22:3, 408-427
De Joode, E.A., Van Boxtel, M.P.J., Verhey, F.R., Van Heugten, C.M. (2011). Use of assistive technology in cognitive rehabilitation: Exploratory studies of the opinions and expectations of healthcare professionals and potential users. Brain Injury, 2012, 1-10.
Apart from theory of smart phone applications, Gloria sent us a source of information about practice of implementing smart phones in brain injury rehabilitation. This website, supporting Implementing and evaluating Smart Phone Applications technology across the NSW Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program (BIRP) contains several useful documents offering practical advice.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
PDA and smartphone use by individuals with moderate-to-severe memory impairment: Application of a theory-driven training programme
Neuropsychological Rehabilitation: An International Journal
a link is here
unfortunately, it is a pay by view article, at least using this link, but don't forget that APS has access to free psychology articles for all its members.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Yes, I will be there sharing my tricks for running a private practice, and I am looking forward to hearing all the geeky information that the other speakers will impart.
Come along to the Geek Fest!
It is taking place Tuesday 28th August 2012 at Michael Chamberlain Theatre, St Vincents Hospital:
6pm - cocktail party
6:30 - presentation
8:00 - cocktail party continues
For those of you that haven't received the information through e-mail, go to http://www.psychology.org.au/
Monday, July 16, 2012
Thank you Katie
Monday, May 28, 2012
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
It deals with American law, but also offers some good references to interesting articles, especially about mild head injury.
Worth having a look for a nice overview of new technological gimmicks to help with mobility and cognitive difficulties. Uses flash, so you have to watch it on a computer, not on an iPad.
Some other interesting gimmicks include:
- a stove sensor to prevent unattended cooking fires
- an automated medication alarm and dispenser
- motion sensor system that detects changes in routine and alerts caregivers
Some of these technologies may not yet be available in Australia, but it is always interesting to see what is coming next.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
You can also find where to buy a realistic chocolate skull. Custom made online, allow 3 weeks for casting and time for delivery (I wonder if one can get it delivered to Australia. Without melting. Maybe in winter.)
Monday, March 19, 2012
The Woolworths and Coles apps allow you to scan barcodes of items you run out of to add to your shopping list. You can, of course, type stuff as well. It lets you find your nearest shop and the Woolworths app organizes your shopping list by that shop's aisle. Nice!
Saturday, March 10, 2012
One-Hand Keyboard lets you type the good-hand equivalent of a letter your bad hand would normally type and uses lets the computer figure out what you meant to type. So for example, instead of typing 'this', you would type 'tges' using mirror equivalent of keys you would normally type with your right hand. The computer figures out what you want to say. Apparently the substitution is easy to learn, but I reserve judgement.
The app is fairly expensive, at 133.99, but there is a cut-down free version for free practice and testing the application.
There is also a free application (Mirror-QWERTY), where you need to press the space bar every time you type the equivalent letter to let the computer know what you mean.
Well worth exploring for those who lost the use of one hand and want to do some typing.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
StayOn Task app beeps at you at unpredictable intervals and you have to touch either the 'on task' or 'off task' button to get it quiet again. As we all know, monitoring a behaviour improves it, so it should result in more on-task behaviour.
As far as I am aware this app does not record data - it is just meant to remind you to keep on task. The frequency of alarms can be adjusted according to whether you chose 'on task' or 'off task' last time it checked.
Interestingly, the blog mentions a legal piece that asserts that test forms are not subjects to copyright in the US (here)... An interesting legal development worth following up.
Have a look!
Sunday, January 22, 2012
I wonder how our testing will change over the next two decades. I have to admit that while I enjoy geeky things, I will find it hard to give up the simplicity of paper and pencil tests, especially when it comes to result interpretation.
Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2012 Feb;26(2):120-31. Epub 2011 Jul 11.
Mapping the neglected space: gradients of detection revealed by virtual reality. Dvorkin AY, Bogey RA, Harvey RL, Patton JL. 1Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
BACKGROUND: Spatial neglect affects perception along different dimensions. However, there is limited availability of 3-dimensional (3D) methods that fully map out a patient's volume of deficit, although this could guide clinical management.
OBJECTIVE: To test whether patients with neglect exhibit simple contralesional versus complex perceptual deficits and whether deficits are best described using Cartesian (rectangular) or polar coordinates.
METHODS: Seventeen right-hemisphere persons with stroke (8 with a history of neglect) and 9 healthy controls were exposed to a 3D virtual environment. Targets placed in a dense array appeared one at a time in various locations.
RESULTS: When tested using rectangular array of targets, subjects in the neglect group exhibited complex asymmetries across several dimensions in both reaction time and target detection rates. Paper-and-pencil tests only detected neglect in 4 of 8 of these patients. When tested using polar array of targets, 2 patients who initially appeared to perform poorly in both left and near space only showed a simple left-side asymmetry that depended almost entirely on the angle from the sagittal plane. A third patient exhibited left neglect irrespective of the arrangements of targets used. An idealized model with pure dependence on the polar angle demonstrated how such deficits could be misconstrued as near neglect if one uses a rectangular array.
CONCLUSIONS: Such deficits may be poorly detected by paper-and-pencil tests and even by computerized tests that use regular screens. Assessments that incorporate 3D arrangements of targets enable precise mapping of deficient areas and detect subtle forms of neglect whose identification may be relevant to treatment strategies.cheers,
The site is great, with a multitude of resources for the patients, carers and clinicians. There are too many goodies to list them here. Definitively have a look.
The link is: http://www.tbistafftraining.info
Thank you, Katie,
Saturday, January 14, 2012
The corrections can be read aloud by a synthetic voice to help choose the correct spelling of each word. Also, the finished text can be read through by the synthetic voice to check for spelling mistakes.
The text then can be pasted into other applications, such as Word, email, etc.
The application is available for Mac, iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, and one can get it from the App Store.
I am not aware of any similar applications for the PC and Android systems - we need people familiar with these systems to contribute to this blog!
If you would like to write some posts, either regularly or just once, please contact me on IzaWalter@gmail.com.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
For those of who haven't seen the post, you can find the animation on Paul's Kelly's website at http://bmc.erin.utoronto.ca/~
It is a very nicely presented 4-minute film. It is free to share with colleagues, but you need to contact him if using it commercially.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Your typical young male with head injury is particularly prone to forgetting his diary. He usually tells you that he forgot it, while he is sitting across from you at a desk on which lies his mobile phone.
Well, I have came upon a study that formally proves the superiority of electronic gizmos in a nice, controlled study. It comes from Royal Rehabilitation Centre in Sydney, and the Chief Investigator is Belinda Carr, Occupational Therapy Leader. To read a press release, go to http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2011/06/28/3254725.htm.
I will try to contact her and ask her about her work in this area. Watch this space.
Monday, January 2, 2012
PS: for wooden brain art head to: http://harbaugh.uoregon.edu/Brain/Bachy/index.htm
Have a great 2012.