Computer mouse movement patterns: A potential marker of mild cognitive impairment

Adriana Seelye, Stuart Hagler, Nora Mattek, Diane B. Howieson, Katherine Wild, Hiroko H. Dodge, Jeffrey A. Kaye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Introduction: Subtle changes in cognitively demanding activities occur in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) but are difficult to assess with conventional methods. In an exploratory study, we examined whether patterns of computer mouse movements obtained from routine home computer use discriminated between older adults with and without MCI. Methods: Participants were 42 cognitively intact and 20 older adults with MCI enrolled in a longitudinal study of in-home monitoring technologies. Mouse pointer movement variables were computed during one week of routine home computer use using algorithms that identified and characterized mouse movements within each computer use session. Results: MCI was associated with making significantly fewer total mouse moves (P < .01) and making mouse movements that were more variable, less efficient, and with longer pauses between movements (P < .05). Mouse movement measures were significantly associated with several cognitive domains (P values <.01-.05). Discussion: Remotely monitored computer mouse movement patterns are a potential early marker of real-world cognitive changes in MCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)472-480
Number of pages9
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015


  • Aging
  • Cognitive assessment
  • Computer use
  • Early detection of cognitive decline
  • Ecological validity
  • Everyday functioning
  • Functional assessment
  • Instrumental activities of daily living
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Remote monitoring
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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