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Innovative partnership enhances cognitive health in senior living

Bellevue’s Bellettini provides residents Thinkie to improve cognitive health.
Bellevue’s Bellettini provides residents Thinkie to improve cognitive health.

In a pioneering collaboration, a leading brain activity measurement and visual feedback training provider has officially partnered with an independent and assisted living community in Bellevue. The collaboration aims to introduce cutting-edge cognitive training technology to residents, promoting improved mental acuity and overall brain health.

Thinkie Inc, a leader in brain activity measurement and visual feedback training, is set to become a vital component of MBK Senior Living's The Bellettini Mind + Body Wellness program.

The Thinkie system, designed by renowned brain scientist Dr. Kawashima, includes a cloth headband with an ultra-compact sensor utilizing functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) technology. Residents receive real-time visual feedback on their brain activity through a color spectrum while engaging in a variety of brain games aimed at enhancing mental speed, memory, concentration, attention, and prediction.

Brian Prouty, Executive Director of The Bellettini, highlighted the importance of engaging residents in activities that stimulate their minds. “Thinkie fits right into the opportunity to stimulate their minds, engage with friends, and test their own boundaries. It’s a fantastic outlet for all our residents,” said Prouty.

Since the spring of 2023, The Bellettini has been part of a Thinkie brain training system pilot project, providing valuable insights and direct feedback for product development. The official partnership solidifies the commitment to enhancing the cognitive well-being of senior residents.

Cognitive training promotes improved cognition in older adults

Dr. Bianca P. Acevedo, a neuroscientist from the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of California Santa Barbara, recently presented the results of a study on Thinkie’s brain training and neurofeedback technology at AAIC 2023. The study revealed a significant correlation between Thinkie game scores, increased brain activity, habituation, and improved cognitive function in older adults.

Dr. Acevedo emphasized the potential benefits of technology-based practices for improving cognition and quality of life in aging populations. “If we can target systems involved in the regulation of attention and executive cognition through 'brain fitness,' we may find benefits leading to better brain function over time,” she stated.

The study, a 4-week app-based cognitive training and neurofeedback program, compared Thinkie with Tetris as an active control. Participants showed unique improvements in memory and visual memory, with peak performance observed around day 10.

“The results of this study are compelling and should be expanded on in future work,” said Dr. Acevedo. “Through the use of a wider variety of games, users may remain challenged longer and therefore continue cognitive and other improvements.”

As The Bellettini integrates Thinkie into its wellness program, the collaboration aims to provide residents with an innovative and enjoyable solution for maintaining cognitive health, fostering independence, and enhancing overall well-being. The partnership represents a significant stride in the intersection of technology and senior living, with potential implications for the broader field of cognitive wellness.


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