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jslhr-l-15-0077rudzicz_supp1.pdf (4.71 MB)

Random Item Generation (Multani et al., 2016)

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-02-23, 05:04 authored by Namita Multani, Frank Rudzicz, Wing Yiu Stephanie Wong, Aravind Kumar Namasivayam, Pascal van Lieshout
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.


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.


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