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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/V056131/1
Title: Agent-based Memory Prosthesis to Encourage Reminiscing (AMPER)
Principal Investigator: Aylett, Professor R
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr M Lim
Project Partners:
NHS The Sporting Memories Network University of California, San Francisco
University of Edinburgh
Department: S of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 December 2021 Ends: 30 November 2025 Value (£): 449,447
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Artificial Intelligence Human-Computer Interactions
Med.Instrument.Device& Equip.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare Information Technologies
Related Grants:
EP/V05564X/1
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
13 Sep 2021 EPSRC ICT Prioritisation Panel September 2021 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Older age groups are the fastest growing sector of the population because of the post-war baby boom population and increased life expectancy. Neurological changes are commonly observed in ageing populations including Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and other dementias. AD patients tend to become withdrawn and depressed due to communication problems and loss of confidence.

However memory loss in people with AD occurs in reverse chronological order so that pockets of long-term memory remain accessible even as the disease progresses. AMPER's main technological challenge is the development of an agent with a novel human-like autobiographical memory model that tells stories to encourage reminiscing using individualised repositories of life experiences in real-world social contexts.

AMPER will apply user-centred design with AD individuals and their carers to create such an agent. This will perform a carer-assisted intervention for personalised reminiscence, telling stories and bringing to the surface memories residing in the still viable regions of the brain. The project will collect both generationally relevant and personally relevant multi-media materials organised and reorganised by the agent's autobiographical memory. It will test the acceptability and effectiveness of both graphical and table-top robot agents.

Autobiographical memory provides a reflection of "self" enabling an individual to relive an event. By building a technological bridge to unique life experiences and aiding recollection, an AD individual's sense of value, importance and belonging may be restored.

The project aims to create a meaningful technology that is accessible as well as responsive to an individual's changing needs and experiences.

The project will work with the charity Sporting Memories, already involved in reminiscence support, with the NHS Scotland Neuroprogressive and Dementia Network, the University of Edinburgh Centre for Dementia Prevention, and the Latin American Network for Dementia Research, forming its Steering Committee. Craig Ritchie, of the Centre for Dementia Prevention partner, will also bring in Scottish Dementia Research Consortium and Brain Health Scotland as Steering Committee members.
Key Findings
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Summary
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.hw.ac.uk