Eye tracking – The overlooked method to measure cognition in neurodegeneration?

A. P. A. Bueno, J. R. Sato, M. Hornberger

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Eye tracking (ET) studies are becoming increasingly popular due to rapid methodological and technological advances as well as the development of cost efficient and portable eye trackers. Although historically ET has been mostly employed in psychophysics or developmental cognition studies, there is also promising scope to use ET for movement disorders and measuring cognitive processes in neurodegeneration. Particularly, ET can be a powerful tool for cognitive and neuropsychological assessments of patients with pathologies affecting motor and verbal abilities, as tasks can be adapted without requiring motor (except eye movements) or verbal responses. In this review, we will examine the existing evidence of ET methods in neurodegenerative conditions and its potential clinical impact for cognitive assessment. We highlight that current evidence for ET is mostly focused on diagnostics of cognitive impairments in neurodegenerative disorders, where it is debatable whether it has any more sensitivity or specificity than existing cognitive assessments. By contrast, there is currently a lack of ET studies in more advanced disease stages, when patients’ motor and verbal functions can be significantly affected, and standard cognitive assessments are challenging or often not possible. We conclude that ET is a promising method not only for cognitive diagnostics but more importantly, for potential cognitive disease tracking in progressive neurodegenerative conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107191
Early online date12 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

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