Ambulatory Methods for Measuring Cognitive Change (M2C2)

M2C2 provides the research community with open, flexible, and usable tools to enable neurodegenerative research.

The overall goal of this project is to develop infrastructure that provides the research community with open, flexible, and usable tools to enable scientific progress that depends on the sensitive and accurate measurement of cognitive change. This project has four overall aims: 

  • Iterative Design and Rapid Piloting to prototype, deploy, evaluate, and optimize candidate mobile cognitive tests to meet psychometric, accessibility, and engagement benchmarks. 

  • Psychometric Evaluation of Reliability and Validity of mobile cognitive testing procedures in a racially diverse probability sample. 

  • Replication and Norming in an independent, nationally representative probability based sample, and create nationally representative norms. 

  • Extension and Dissemination for incorporating new measures into the mobile assessment infrastructure by evaluating novel measures for inclusion that are nominated by investigators outside of our immediate research team.


M2C2 also supports several other projects using ambulatory cognitive measurements, including a randomized clinical trial to evaluate a dietary intervention to reduce risk for cognitive impairment; a longitudinal study to evaluate the effect of heading on neuro-cognitive function; the effect of fibromyalgia on daily variation in cognitive function; and the early identification of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in the Einstein Aging Study.

M2C2 is a research infrastructure to enable the monitoring of cognitive abilities using mobile devices. Cognitive changes transpire over very different time scales. Long-term cognitive changes (over years and decades) may reflect cumulative effects of cognitive aging or progressive neuropathology. Cognitive function can also change over the course of weeks or months—mid-term change—due to shifts in health conditions (e.g., inflammation) and psychosocial context (e.g., chronic stress). Cognitive performance also exhibits short-term changes over the course of hours and days attributable to psychological (e.g., stress) and somatic (e.g., fatigue) states. The critical challenge to measuring long-term change associated with aging or preclinical disease involves extracting a very subtle signal from the background of changes in performance associated with other variables (e.g., fatigue, illness, stress) operating at a faster cadence. M2C2 aims to design and validating tests for use in designs that improve the temporal granularity of cognitive change measurements.