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brain games

The Karman Line is the first set of games based on a number of proven effective treatment-compensation strategies, which are used in cognitive rehabilitation to improve everyday functioning within different cognitive domains.

The development of this "game line" is based on scientifically applied research in (clinical) practice. This means that the usability and effects will be investigated in people with brain injury (as a result of, for example, a stroke or an accident) who have cognitive problems.

The Karman Line is distinctive because it not only focuses on improving specific cognitive functions (such as memory) but on improving functioning in daily life. This "switch" from function recovery to the application of compensation strategies to achieve better everyday functioning was already used years ago in the clinical practice of rehabilitation. Strikingly enough, games often fall short in this area, because they are still focusing too much on improving function (with very poor or unproven effect on daily functioning).

The Karman Line is the first set of games based on a number of proven effective treatment-compensation strategies that are used in the cognitive rehabilitation rehabilitation can be used to improve everyday

functioning within various cognitive domains (such as attention and planning skills). By translating these treatment protocols into games, people can train their brains and cognitive functions in an attractive and challenging way. In addition to this "everyday" use, the games can also be used as a supplement to treatment in cognitive rehabilitation. An additional advantage is that the games respond to the individual user (through Ai). This means that the difficulty is tailored to the level of the individual and everyone can play at his or her own pace. During the research phase, the game data will be (automatically) collected to investigate the effects and make the games more effective.

Karman Line is a 4-year collaboration between Klimmendaal Rehabilitation Specialists, Radboud University, Donders Institute and the SMEs: Yellow Riders, Islandworks and Big4data.

This project has been made possible in part by a grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

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the Botanist

ABI patients often report having significantly more memory difficulties when compared to people without an acquired brain injury. Depending on the severity of the injury, these effects can be mitigated. Especially during the process of recovery it is imperative for the patients to participate in therapy sessions and intensive mental exercises to minimize these effects. In order to facilitate in this process of rehabilitation, Siza and YR started the Brain Game project.

Adults or infants who have a brain injury after an accident have to train as much as possible and do intensive exercises during their therapy and at home. We think that games could play an important role in helping both the patients and the therapists to improve the results. The process of recovery is quite often cumbersome, due to issues related to the frustration and denial as a result from the sudden change in a person's life. By implementing brain exercises into a the format of a game, the persuasive and playful characteristics of the medium can be used to make these exercises a more pleasant experience.


During a collaboration between Siza and Yellow Riders, a game challenge was set up in order to create several concepts for therapies, exercises aimed at changing the process of recovery and making a qualitative contribution to it.

This resulted in no more than eight different game concepts. After thorough evaluation and testing by professionals, the game concept of Adriaan De Jongh was selected to develop a prototype in 2016-2017. A 6-month research started in August 2017 at the Radboud University & Donders Institute to compare the game with currently used tests. The game will be further developed based on the results of the research in 2018.

Games as Mental Exercises

The final goal is to develop a game which includes a series of mental exercises aimed at rebuilding the person's initial skills which were either damaged or lost. As it is right now, these exercises need to be performed regularly under the supervision of a therapist. The problem is that due to the intensity and repetitive nature of these mental gymnastics they are often experienced as dull and frustrating, leading to aversion from the patients. With this game, this process can be turned into an engaging and overall fun experience.


Through different forms of audiovisual and haptic input, the player is challenged to make cognitive connections, train or redevelop their motoric skills, train their memory and improve their problem solving abilities. Although this does not eliminate the need for professional support by a therapist, presenting these mental exercises through the medium of a computer game does allow the patient to perform these at home, ultimately promoting and contributing to a successful recovery. But just as important is that this game can help to reduce the amount stress and frustration, improve self-efficacy of the patients, helping them recover in a pleasant way.  

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