Our research center is proud to present a new scientific publication. The research work was supervised by Dr. Beccaluva.

ABSTRACT: Memory is defined as the capability of encoding, storing, and retrieving information and is a pillar of our cognitive functions. Memory is one the most investigated processes in people with Intellectual Disability (ID), and studies have documented severe deficits in its functioning. While there are several attempts to exploit GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces) to support memory training for children with ID, limited research explores Tangible User Interfaces (TUIs) for this purpose. The paper describes the design and technology of a novel TUI named VIC (VIsual spatial Cubes for memory training), a system composed by a set of digitally enhanced cubes that emit light and sound, a sensorized board and a mobile app. VIC enables children to perform multiple, configurable memory training activities that involve block manipulation and block placements. The research is based on a vast analysis of the state of the art and on validated methods adopted in memory rehabilitation contexts. From this analysis, and from the theories underlying TUIs, we distilled a set of design principles that informed the design of the multi-sensory affordances of VIC, and can be exploited for other researchers to develop TUIs in this field. The paper also reports an exploratory study that involved 12 children with ID and 3 therapists from a specialized daycare Center. The study focused on the evaluation of the quality of the system in terms of usability, likability and potential for adoption. Although preliminary, the results suggest that our design approach was sound and VIC has the potential to become a valid tool to complement existing practices in memory training and can be expanded to support also memory assessment for children with ID.

Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2212868921000799

Beccaluva, E., Riccardi, F., Gianotti, M., Barbieri, J., & Garzotto, F. (2021). VIC—A Tangible User Interface to train memory skills in children with Intellectual DisabilityInternational Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, 100376.

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