Designing and Evaluating MahjongBrain: A Digital Cognitive Assessment Tool Through Gamification

Jiaoyun Yang, Richu Jiang, Huitong Ding, Rhoda Au, Jinying Chen, Clara Li, Ning An

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Early detection of cognitive decline is of utmost importance, as research suggests that certain risk factors can be modified to slow down or even prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. However, traditional cognitive assessments require a significant amount of time and resources, which can burden both the participants and the clinicians administering the tests. This study developed a new digital cognitive assessment tool called MahjongBrain that incorporates Mahjong elements into eight digital games to improve engagement and interest among older adults during the assessment process. After presenting the software framework, assessment content, and system implementation, we conduct the usability test on 5 participants (mean age 65 years old, 20% women) in Anhui, China. The results demonstrate that the MahjongBrain is user-friendly for older adults, with the majority of participants reporting positive attitudes towards it (mean system usability scale score: 74). Furthermore, we introduce three novel digital measures which could be utilized by machine learning methods to detect subtle changes in cognitive function, including a) the scores and time to completion for each test within each cognitive domain, b) the time-stamped coordinates from the finger tracking, and c) the position of the screen as the participant is playing the games. These initial findings indicate the innovation and transformation of MahjongBrain in cognitive assessment, although further usability and validation tests are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHCI International 2023 - Late Breaking Papers - 25th International Conference on Human Computer Interaction HCII 2023, Proceedings
EditorsQin Gao, Jia Zhou, Vincent G. Duffy, Margherita Antona, Constantine Stephanidis
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9783031480409
StatePublished - 2023
Event25th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCII 2023 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 23 Jul 202328 Jul 2023

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume14055 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference25th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCII 2023


  • Digital Cognitive Assessment
  • Gamification
  • Mahjong
  • Usability Test


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