Instructions for setup: Windows: Influenca can be installed via double-clicking on the downloaded .exe file. Please follow the instructions in the installer then. Mac OSX: Influenca can be installed via double-clicking on the downloaded .dmg file. As the Influenca installer image has not been signed as an official OSX software packge, the Mac Gatekeeper will display a warning in newer OSX versions while starting Influenca for the first time. This is expected behavior and does not point to malicious software in this case. You can open Influenca by doing a right-click on the downloaded .dmg file and choosing “Open” in the context menu. OSX will ask you if you intend to run the software. Please acknowledge this by clicking on “Open”. If you start Influenca the next time, this procedure should not be necessary anymore.
Linux: Please unzip the downloaded .zip archive into a folder of your choice. Then, please open a terminal, navigate to this folder and start Influenca by issuing the following command: ./Influenca
Android: The downloaded .apk file can be installed on your phone by clicking on “Install”. As Influenca has not been signed yet, you need to allow apps from unknown sources. For this, you click on “Settings” as soon as the security warning is displayed and move the slider for “Unknown sources” to activated. After this, Influenca can be started from the apps menu.
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Our cities are being attacked by pathogens! Only science can stop them now. You run a lab and need to find the best drug to fight the pandemic. But be careful: the pathogens adapt. Can you save the world?
How do we make decisions?
The App Influenca is part of a scientific study at the University Clinic Tübingen, in which our decisions and learning in connection with rewards will be studied.
In the study, we examine the relationship between behavior in the online game Influenca and everyday choices, e.g. regarding eating behavior or mood. In particular, we would like to identify mechanisms that contribute to the development and maintenance of pathological behavioral patterns. These include, but are not limited to, dependencies or eating disorders such as binge eating disorder, in which people suffer from recurring binging.
By fighting for a few days in the game against nasty pathogens and in addition to answering a few questions about your current state of health, you can help us answer research questions that cannot be investigated in the laboratory.
As part of the online study you will:
Receive instructions about the game
Play up to 30 rounds on several days
Complete some mental health and eating behavior questionnaires that will be sent to you after registration at the e-mail address you provided
The app is suitable for all people who want to provide a valuable contribution to brain research in a playful way. In the context of this project, the emergence and maintenance of mental illness will be better examined.
To answer our research questions a diverse picture of different behavioral tendencies is required. Although the focus of our research is on the development and maintenance of mental illness, healthy participants in the trial can provide valuable insights for our research. If you already have experience with mental illness or are currently suffering from a mental disorder, this is still not an exclusion reason for playing the app.
We are pleased about participants of all ages (for reasons of the ability to consent is the minimum age of 18 years), with different personality traits and habits. Important characteristics regarding your mental health and eating habits are additionally recorded on the basis of (pseudonymised) questionnaires.
Laboratory Study at the University Clinic Tübingen
If you are female and live in Tübingen or the surrounding area, you can also register with us for participation in the laboratory study. More information about the study on “Neuronal variability and eating behavior” can be found here.
We are confronted by many decisions on a daily basis. Some of them even have a direct impact on our well-being or our health, for example when we choose between different dishes on a menu
or how we want to travel a certain distance. Such decisions rarely are made through rational consideration and conscious processes. More often, habit or what we often refer to as “gut feelings” play a more important role in decisions. How we decide in a particular situation depends on what value we assign to the different options, but also what experiences we have made in the past with the options.
At the NeuroMADLAB, we explore the decisions and the resulting behavior in everyday situations. In doing so, we place a special focus on neural processes of motivation and reward processing. We suspect that with precise observations, it will be possible to make detections early on in the development of patterns of decision-making behavior with negative health effects at an early stage, such as severe obesity or dependencies.
In order to better investigate these early warning signals, we need a variety of different behavioral patterns. With the help of the App Influenca, we want to systematically examine a broad spectrum of people with different personalities, inclinations and habits with regard to their decision-making behavior. An app is accessible to a large number of people without having to come to the lab in person. This makes the App Influenca the ideal method for our research.
You can play the app on your smartphone or a computer. The installation is carried out as usual by double-clicking on the installation file. The following operating systems are supported for the app:
Unfortunately, there is currently no version that is compatible with iPhones or iPads. If you own an iPhone and still want to play the app, use another device if possible.
After installation, the program ‘Influenca’ appears in your program list.
In the main menu you can then start the current level via the “Play” button. From the main menu, you can also review the game instructions, as well as visit a gallery in which all previously contested pathogens are displayed.
You can currently download the app for Windows, Mac and Linux computers and for Android smartphones.
How many rounds of the game are there in total?
There are a total of 30 rounds of the game and a bonus level at the end. After signing up, you can play the first 10 rounds. After the 10th round, we ask you to fill out some online questionnaires. Then the remaining rounds will be unlocked for you.
Why do I have to enter an e-mail address to register?
I forgot my password. Can I reset the password?
You can reset your password from within Influenca. For this, you will receive an e-mail to the mail address you provided during your registration.
Do I need an internet connection to play?
To play the game, no active connection to the internet is necessary. However, a connection to the internet should be established at least once during playing so that the data can be synchronized. Only in this way can we make the data usable for research.
What happens to my data from the game?
How do I close Influenca?
Like any other app, the app Influenca can be placed in the background for a short break. If you do not continue playing within 60 minutes, you must start the current round from the beginning. If you want to stop playing after completing a game round, please quit the app by closing it from your active app list (Android) or via the “Exit” button in the main menu (computer).
Who can I contact if I have a problem?
If you have questions or technical problems in connection with the app, you can contact us via our contact form.
Why do I have to wait for two hours between levels?
Our behavior sometimes differs on different days. Therefore, we want to make sure that we can capture enough days to analyze a wide range of behavior and mood over time.
Can I interrupt a round of the game and finish it later?
It is possible to interrupt playing for a short time. However, if the app is inactive in the background for more than 60 minutes, the current level restarts. This is how we make sure that all the data really contains your current mood.
Do I have to complete the questionnaires after the 10th round of the game to be able to play the rest of the levels of Influenca?
Yes. After completing the online questionnaires, you will receive a code to unlock the remaining rounds. However, you can complete these questionnaires before, during the first rounds. The personalized link to the questionnaires will be sent to you shortly after registration.
Does Influenca cost anything?
What’s in it for me to participate in the study?
If you are not participating in the „ Binge-eating disorder and neural variability“ study, you are playing the game just for your personal pleasure. You also contribute to developing a comprehensive picture of human decision-making processes.
If you are interested in participating in a study and live in Tübingen or the surrounding area, please contact us using the contact form below.
If you have any questions or want to use the app for your research and need assistance, please contact us via the form below. We will get back to you within 48 hours.