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Simulating naturalistic instruction: the case for a voice mediated interface for assistive technology for cognition

Pier Professional Limited
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  • Bf Psychology
  • R Medicine (General)
  • T Technology (General)
  • Biology
  • Medicine
  • Psychology


A variety of brain pathologies can result in difficulties performing complex behavioural sequences. Assistive technology for cognition (ATC) attempts support of complex sequences with the aim of reducing disability. Traditional ATCs are cognitively demanding to use and thus have had poor uptake. A more intuitive interface may allow ATCs to reach their potential. Insights from psychological science may be useful to technologists in this area. We propose that an auditory-verbal interface is more intuitive than a visual interface and reduces cognitive demands on users. Two experiments demonstrate a novel ATC, the General User Interface for Disorders of Execution (GUIDE). GUIDE is novel because it simulates normal conversational prompting to support task performance. GUIDE provides verbal prompts and questions and voice recognition allows the user to interact with the GUIDE. Research with non-cognitively impaired participants and a single participant experiment involving a person with vascular dementia provide support for using interactive auditory-verbal interfaces. Suggestions for the future development of auditory-verbal interfaces are discussed.

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