Translation of Consumer-Articulated Cognitive Benefits to Validated Research Tools

The degree to which the outcomes measured by cognitive performance tests are aligned with outcomes of interest to consumers has not been documented. Consumer needs are expressed through specific terms that are meaningful to them. For example, terms commonly used by consumers in the cognitive health space are mood, focus, sharpness, and mental clarity, among others. However, some individuals may view “focus” as spending 20 straight minutes on a task, while others may view “focus” as entering a state of deeper thinking on a problem. Validated cognitive performance research tools may or may not actually be documenting cognitive benefits as understood by consumers, and/or there may be different cognitive tests that evaluate various types of focus. Understanding what research tools are able to demonstrate, and alignment with consumer understanding is critical to the development of products and dietary recommendations that support realizable cognitive benefits.

Institutions: National Opinion Research Center (NORC), at the University of Chicago, Swansea University

Principal Investigators: Alyssa Ghirardelli, MPH, RD, and Laura Wagstaff, MPH, NORC; Hayley Young, PhD, Swansea University

Year: 2022

View this project on the Center for Open Science’s Open Science Framework here. 

This work was supported by the IAFNS Cognitive Health Committee. And members of the Expert Group:

David Benton, Swansea University
Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, Rutgers University
Richard Gershon, Northwestern University
Andrew Scholey, Monash University
Hayley Young, Swansea University


Roundtable: Understanding Approaches, Decisions, and Challenges to Cognitive Performance Measure Selection, Validation, and Evaluation to Support Effects of Nutrition