Sit still and pay attention: Using the Wii Balance-Board to detect lapses in concentration in children during psychophysical testing.


Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London (UCL), 11-43 Bath Street, London, EC1V 9EL, UK. [Email]


During psychophysical testing, a loss of concentration can cause observers to answer incorrectly, even when the stimulus is clearly perceptible. Such lapses limit the accuracy and speed of many psychophysical measurements. This study evaluates an automated technique for detecting lapses based on body movement (postural instability). Thirty-five children (8-11 years of age) and 34 adults performed a typical psychophysical task (orientation discrimination) while seated on a Wii Fit Balance Board: a gaming device that measures center of pressure (CoP). Incorrect responses on suprathreshold catch trials provided the "reference standard" measure of when lapses in concentration occurred. Children exhibited significantly greater variability in CoP on lapse trials, indicating that postural instability provides a feasible, real-time index of concentration. Limitations and potential applications of this method are discussed.


Attentiveness,Catch trials,Center of pressure,Children,Concentration,Lapse rates,Postural instability,Psychophysics,Receiver operating characteristic,Task engagement,Test development,Wii Fit Balance Board,

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