“Metacogmission”: measuring metacognition across the lifespan and over two cognitive domains via an engaging gamified task

Workstream 5
14 Apr, 2020

Oral presentation. Neuromatch 3.0.

McWilliams, A., Bibby, H., Steinbeis, N., Fleming, S.M.

Working with a technology firm and the McPin Foundation mental health service user advisory group, we developed Metacogmission – a gamified metacognitive task. After trialling at 2 public engagement events with over 400 people, we here conducted a cross-sectional observational study of >300 online volunteers (18 to 83 years), measuring metacognition for memory and visual perception. We used Bayesian modelling to derive metacognitive efficiency (meta-d’/d’), charting metacognition through the lifespan across two domains. 

Metacogmission was acceptable and fun, showing potential for use with clinical groups. Meta-d’ model fits, as assessed with MCMC convergence diagnostics, were robust, returning parameters comparable to those from more extensive laboratory tasks. Preliminary results indicate that as people age, performance on the first order cognitive tasks was preserved, although raw confidence (“bias”) decreased to middle age. Metacognitive efficiency remained largely stable with age, and was correlated across cognitive domains, consistent with a degree of domain-generality for metacognition.

In 2019, this work was awarded a Public Engagement Prize at the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging, UCL.