BJKS Podcast
BJKS Podcast
Nov 26, 2021
45. Michael Hornberger: Sea Hero Quest, developing games for science, and Alzheimer's disease
Play • 1 hr 3 min

Michael Hornberger is a professor of applied dementia research at the University of East Anglia who developed Sea Hero Quest, a mobile game for studying spatial navigation that was downloaded more than 4 million times. In this conversation, we talk about Sea Hero Quest, how Michael (together with Hugo Spiers) developed it, the first findings, and dementia in general.

BJKS Podcast is a podcast about neuroscience, psychology, and anything vaguely related, hosted by Benjamin James Kuper-Smith. New conversations every other Friday. You can find the podcast on all podcasting platforms (e.g., Spotify, Apple/Google Podcasts, etc.).

00:04: How Michael started doing research on dementia
02:32: What is Sea Hero Quest?
05:18: How Sea Hero Quest got started and developed
31:45: Start discussing some results from Sea Hero Quest
38:16: How does Sea Hero Quest relate to Michael's work on dementia?
43:16: How far are we from using (something like) Sea Hero Quest as an early biomarker for Alzheimer's?
45:36: What is dementia and how can we prevent it? Discussing Michael's new book about Alzheimer's 'Tangled Up'

Podcast links

Michael's links

Ben's links

Alzheimer (1906). Uber einen eigenartigen, schweren Erkrankungsprozess der Hirnrinde. Neurol. Cbl..
Alzheimer, Förstl, & Levy (1991). On certain peculiar diseases of old age. History of psychiatry.
Anguera, Boccanfuso, Rintoul, Al-Hashimi, Faraji, Janowich, ... & Gazzaley (2013). Video game training enhances cognitive control in older adults. Nature.
See also:
Coughlan, Coutrot, Khondoker, Minihane, Spiers & Hornberger (2019). Toward personalized cognitive diagnostics of at-genetic-risk Alzheimer’s disease. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Coughlan, Laczó, Hort, Minihane, & Hornberger (2018). Spatial navigation deficits—overlooked cognitive marker for preclinical Alzheimer disease?. Nature Reviews Neurology.
Coughlan, Puthusseryppady, Lowry, Gillings, Spiers, Minihane, & Hornberger (2020). Test-retest reliability of spatial navigation in adults at-risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Plos one.
Coutrot, Schmidt, Coutrot, Pittman, Hong, Wiener, ... Hornberger, & Spiers (2019). Virtual navigation tested on a mobile app is predictive of real-world wayfinding navigation performance. PloS one.
Coutrot, Silva, Manley, de Cothi, Sami, Bohbot, ... Hornberger, & Spiers (2018). Global determinants of navigation ability. Current Biology. game:
Hornberger (2021). Tangled up. The science and history of Alzheimer's disease.
Kunz, Schröder, Lee, Montag, Lachmann, Sariyska, ... & Axmacher (2015). Reduced grid-cell–like representations in adults at genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Science.

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