Pilot study of a novel computerized task to assess spatial learning in children and adolescents with neurofibromatosis type i

Nicole J. Ullrich, Lauren Ayr, Emily Leaffer, Mira B. Irons, Celiane Rey-Casserly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Difficulties with visual-spatial learning are frequently observed and often considered to be the hallmark of neurocognitive impairment in neurofibromatosis type 1. The computerized Arena Maze is a virtual environment task that has been developed as a human paradigm to the Morris Water Maze, which is used to evaluate spatial learning in animal models. The authors evaluated this task as a measure of spatial learning in children with neurofibromatosis type 1 compared with their unaffected siblings. Affected children were able to learn the task and navigate the virtual environment; however, they performed more poorly on standard measures of spatial learning and spatial working memory than their siblings. The group with neurofibromatosis type 1 demonstrated decreased proficiency in earlier target trials and had more difficulty in remembering target location. This study demonstrates the potential utility of a novel virtual task to assess spatial learning deficits in children with neurofibromatosis type 1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1195-1202
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of child neurology
Volume25
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • arena maze
  • computerized task
  • neurofibromatosis type 1
  • spatial learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology

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