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Coordination
  • Get access to a complete battery of cognitive tasks to assess coordination

  • Identify and assess the presence of alterations or deficits

  • Validated instruments to improve or recover coordination and other cognitive functions

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What is Coordination?

Coordination could be defined as the ability to move efficiently, carefully, quickly, and purposfully. In other words, it is what makes it possible to synchronize the muscles used in a certain action in order to carry out an action as appropriately as possible. While motricity and movement require a number of different brain areas, the main brain structure involved in coordination is the cerebellum. Poor coordination can make it difficult, or even impossible, to carry out normal, daily activities. It is not uncommon for coordination to be one of the areas most affected by aging. Luckily, coordination can be trained and improved with cognitive stimulation.

Proper training with the clinical cognitive stimulation exercises from CogniFit can activate and strengthen different cognitive abilities, like coordination. In fact, there are studies that show how coordination in seniors can improve with using CogniFit. Training with CogniFit's brain games can stimulate specific neural activation patterns. This repeated activation can help create new synapses and strengthen pre-existing ones. This is what makes it possible to reinforce and stimulate coordination and other cognitive skills. However, not training coordination can lead to a loss of resources, as the brain will work to send fewer resources to less-used areas, ultimately weakening the connections. This will make us less efficient while carrying out daily activities. Playing different brain games can help improve cognitive function.

Psychomotricity and Coordination

When we talk about coordination, it is important to differentiate between psychomotricity. Psychomotricity is a wider term for coordination, as it includes motor, cognitive, social, and affective aspects. As such, it does not only refer to coordination as movements but the body as a whole, laterality, spatial concepts, etc. We will talk about the different types of psychomotricity and the different types of coordination more or less independently:

Types of Psychomotricity

Psychomotricity is usually divided into the different muscle groups used. Each type of motricity will require different types of coordination. However, coordination will always be essential in both types:

  • Gross Motoricity: Gross motricity refers to the large and general muscle groups (which use the entire body). These movements require more power than precision, like movement, position, and balance.
  • Fine Motricity: Fine motricity refers to the movement of the small and specific muscle groups (usually used by muscles in the hand). Tasks that require fine motricity will require more precision than power like is the case writing or tying your shoes.

Types of Coordination

On the other hand, we can talk about the different types of coordination depending on the parts of the body used in the action, and the sensory organ that provides the feedback. The main types are the following:

  • Motor Coordination: Motor coordination refers to the coordination of the different body's different muscle groups depending on what our senses perceive. It refers to coordination as a set. It is mainly related to gross motricity and includes the two types that we will see below.
  • Hand-Eye Coordination: Refers to the ability to move your hands depending on what they eyes see, like typing on a keyboard, for example. This type of coordination requires fine motricity.
  • Foot-Eye Coordination: Refers to the ability to move your feet in order to respond to what your eyes perceive, like kicking a ball into a soccer net. This would be characterized as gross motricity.

Examples of Coordination

  • Coordination is an essential skill for playing sports. It would be impossible to run, swim, ride a bike, kick a ball, shoot a basket, or swing a bat without the help of coordination.
  • Typing a paper on the computer, operating heavy machinery, or putting together your new bookshelf are all actions that require coordination. Poor coordination in work environments may result in accidents.
  • You use coordination at school when writing, drawing, cutting, or a number of other important tasks, as well as in higher-level learning when taking notes or writing essays as quickly as possible.
  • When driving, you have to coordinate your movements and push the pedals at the right time while moving the steering wheel and changing gears.

Disorders associated with Coordination

As you get older, you may feel like your coordination isn't as good as it once was. While it is possible to reduce the decline through cognitive training, poor or declining coordination is not considered a disorder or problem in itself as it is a natural result of aging. The majority of disorders that imply a certain degree of coordination alteration come from brain damage. Some of these symptoms are tremors, ataxia (inability to coordinate the different parts of the body used in an action), and cerebellar nystagmus (involuntary movement of the eyes when trying to focus on peripheral vision), dysmetria (inability to coordinate the movement of the extremities according to the visual information perceives), asynergia (inability to coordinate movements, which generally causes strange posture), as well as others. However, there are alterations that can be caused by damage to non-cerebellar areas, like dysarthria (lack of coordination, paralysis, or weakness in the motor parts of speech). An alteration in coordination generally comes with an increased reaction time.

On the other hand, there are a number of diseases and disorders that can also be accompanied by coordination problems. One of the most common is Parkinson's Disease. However, dyslexia or dysgraphia, Multiple Sclerosis, coordination developmental disorder, types of ataxia (like Friedreich Ataxia, or spinocerebellar ataxia), brain injury, tumors, and stroke may all also symptoms of poor coordination.

How can you measure coordination?

Measuring coordination can be useful as it plays an important role in academic areas (to know if a student will have trouble taking notes or writing essays), in clinical areas (to know if a patient can move easily and safely), and work settings (to know if an employee can safely move heavy machinery), and in our day-to-day lives.

With the complete cognitive assessment battery , it is possible to easily and efficiently measure coordination and other cognitive skills. CogniFit offers a set of tests that evaluate some of the subprocesses of coordination, like hand-eye coordination and reaction time. To do this, we created tasks based on the classical Wisconson Card Sorting Test (WCST), the Stroop Test, the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA), the Visual Organisation Task (VOT), NEPSY (from Korkman, Kirk, and Kemp), the Continious Performance Test (CPT), and the Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM). These tests, aside from measuring coordination, evaluate updating, cognitive flexibility, processing speed, divided attention, inhibition, visual perception, naming, visual scanning, focused attention, spatial perception, contextual memory, recognition, and working memory.

  • Synchronization Test UPDA-SHIF: For this task, a moving ball will appear on the screen. The goal is to use the cursor to follow the ball around the screen as carefully as possible
  • Simultaniety Test DIAT-SHIF: The user will have to follow a white ball around the screen and pay attention to the words that appear in the center of the screen. When the word in the middle of the screen corresponds to the color in which it is written, the user will have to give a response (paying attention to both stimuli at the same time). In the activity, the user will have to face changes, new responses, and use updating and visual skills at the same time.
  • Coordination Test HECOOR: The user will have to use their cursor to follow the ball that moves across the screen, without leaving the circle. The user will have to manually and visually follow the ball.
  • Speed Test REST-HECOOR: A rectangle will appear in the screen. The user will have to click the button as fast as possible, keeping the mouse within the rectangle. The more times they click the button, the better the score.
  • Resolution Test REST-SPER: A number of moving stimuli will appear on the screen. The user will have to click on the target objects as quickly as possible, avoiding the distracting stimuli.
  • Inquiry Test REST-COM: Objects will appear on the screen for a short amount of time. The user will have to choose the word that corresponds to the image as quickly as possible.
  • Decoding Test VIPER-NAM: Images will appear on the screen for a short period of time and then disappear. Next, four letters will appear, one of which will the first letter of the name of the object. The user will have to choose the appropriate option as quickly as possible.
  • Recognition Test WOM-REST: Three objects will appear on the screen. The user will first have to remember the order in which the objects were present as quickly as possible. Then, four sets of 3 objects will appear and the user will have to choose the option that was shown in the previous screen.
  • Processing Test REST-INH: In this task, two shapes with different numbers will appear on the screen. The user will first have to choose the bigger shape, and will later in the task have to choose the higher number.

Recover, improve, and stimulate coordination

Every cognitive skill, including coordination, can be trained and improved. CogniFit makes it possible to do with a professional tool.

Neuroplasticity is the basis behind the rehabilitation of coordination and other cognitive skills. CogniFit has a battery of clinical exercises designed to rehabilitate deficits in this cognitive skills. The brain and its neural connections can get stronger through practice, which means that frequently using coordination can help make the brain connections involved stronger and more efficient.

CogniFit was created by a team full of specialized professionals in the study of synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis. This has made it possible to create the personalized brain training program to meet the needs of each user. This program starts with a precise assessment of coordination and other cognitive skills. Based on the results of the assessment, the cognitive stimulation program from CogniFit will automatically create a personalized training program to help strengthen coordination and other cognitive functions that the show to need improvement.

Consistent training is the key to improving coordination. CogniFit has assessment and training tools to optimize cognitive functions. Optimal training only requires 15 minutes a day, two to three times a week.

This program is available online. There are a number of interactive activities in the form of games, that can be played online or on a mobile device. After each session, CogniFit will show each user a detailed graph with their cognitive progress.

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