Conversational Engagement Study: Detecting changes in the levels of social engagement

Full Project Title: Detecting changes in the levels of social engagement: Conversational Pilot Study
Investigator: Hiroko Dodge, Ph.D.
Funding Period: 2011 to 2015
Funding Source: National Institute on Aging

We will examine whether frequent conversations could improve thinking abilities among the elderly. Pilot phases will help us test technology and procedures to be sure that we conduct our final phase as efficiently and effectively as possible. We will collect data and an anonymous survey from local elders to get a better idea of the average levels of social engagement and technology use over a large group. Our final phase will implement a randomized trial testing whether frequent conversation using video phone technology has a positive effect on thinking abilities in the elderly.


Dodge HH, Mattek N, Gregor M, Bowman M, Seelye A, Ybarra O, et al. Social Markers of Mild Cognitive Impairment: Proportion of Word Counts in Free Conversational Speech. Current Alzheimer Research 2015;12:513-519.

Dodge HH, Zhu J, Mattek N, Bowman M, Ybarra O, Wild K, et al. Web-enabled Conversational Interactions as a Means to Improve Cognitive Functions: Results of a 6-Week Randomized Controlled Trial. Alzheimer's & dementia : translational research & clinical interventions 2015;1:1-12.  

Dodge HH, Katsumata Y, Zhu J, Mattek N, Bowman M, Gregor M, et al. Characteristics associated with willingness to participate in a randomized controlled behavioral clinical trial using home-based personal computers and a webcam. Trials 2014;15:508.