Are you a morning person - or do you shine at night?

Updated Wednesday, 19th November 2014
A new set of engaging games to play on your Apple or Android device will reveal what time of day you're at your best.

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Alauda arvensis (lark) with a worm We couldn't choose between an 'up with lark' or 'gets the worm' metaphorical image, so went for skylark that has got a worm OU Brainwave is a set of casual games designed to test different aspects of cognitive performance (attention, memory etc.). The app allows you to find out empirically if you are a 'morning' or 'evening' type.

By playing the games at different times of the day, the app will collate the results and plot your performance so you can see how time-of-day effects each facet of your cognitive abilities.

The app will also upload anonymised data to researchers at the OU so that your results from playing the games in the app can contribute to psychological research.

In a bit more detail...

Using a custom built mobile phone and tablet application we will measure the cognitive performance of a broad, self-selecting sample of members of the public – who freely download the app. They will complete five experimental tasks, each one designed to test a different aspect of cognitive performance (Working memory, Vigilance, Spatial cognition, Learning & Split attention).

These tasks will be heavily ‘gamified’ in order to make participation fun and engaging, and will appear to the participant to be simple computer games. Testing will be repeated at multiple points across multiple days with the intention of measuring the impact of the circadian rhythm on each aspect of cognitive ability.

Performance data along with basic demographic data and self-reported information on the user’s sleep will be collected. The individual user will be able to see their own data in the app itself, the intention to use this feedback to drive user engagement with the app. Additionally the app will upload anonymised data for us to collate and analyse allowing the effect of circadian rhythm and time of day on performance to be analysed at group level.


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