Training the older brain in 3-D: Video game enhances cognitive control
2013 09 04

Red Ice Creations

It’s long been thought that challenging the brain in later years could keep it healthy and well functioning. New findings from a study published in Nature seem to support this theory through the medium of video games.

We’ll be generous and assume that this is why 77 year old Senator John McCain was caught this week playing poker games on his iPhone during an important U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing covering testimony on whether to attack Syria and risk escalation to a World War...

His resulting ’cognitive control’ is apparently in overdrive based on his stance of regime change in Syria. Rather than poker, he really should have been playing Bomberman.

More on the training involved in improving the performance (memory and attention) of older brains with video games by MedicalXpress.com:

---
Training the older brain in 3-D: Video game enhances cognitive control
From: MedicalXPress


Scientists at UC San Francisco are reporting that they have found a way to reverse some of the negative effects of aging on the brain, using a video game designed to improve cognitive control.

The findings, published this week in Nature, show how a specially designed 3-D video game can improve cognitive performance in healthy older adults. The researchers said it provides a measure of scientific support to the burgeoning field of brain fitness, which has been criticized for lacking evidence that such training can induce lasting and meaningful changes.

In the game, which was developed by the UCSF researchers, participants race a car around a winding track while a variety of road signs pop up. Drivers are instructed to keep an eye out for a specific type of sign, while ignoring all the rest, and to press a button whenever that particular sign appears. The need to switch rapidly from driving to responding to the signs – i.e. multitasking – generates interference in the brain that undermines performance. The researchers found that this interference increases dramatically across the adult lifespan.

But after receiving just 12 hours of training on the game, spread over a month, the 60- to 85-year-old study participants improved their performance until it surpassed that of 20-somethings who played the game for the first time.

The training also improved the participants’ performance in two other important cognitive areas: working memory and sustained attention. And participants maintained their skills at the video games six months after the training had ended.

"The finding is a powerful example of how plastic the older brain is," said Adam Gazzaley, MD, PhD, UCSF associate professor of neurology, physiology and psychiatry and director of the Neuroscience Imaging Center. Gazzaley co-founded the company, Akili Interactive Labs, which is developing the next generation of the video game.

Gazzaley, who has made a career out of studying how distraction affects cognitive performance, said his game, NeuroRacer, does more than any ordinary game – be it bridge, a crossword puzzle, or an off-the-shelf video game – to condition the brain. Like a good teacher, he said, NeuroRacer undermines people’s natural tendency to go on automatic pilot once they’ve mastered a skill, and pushes them further than they think they can go.

[...]

Read the full article at: medicalxpress.com




Related Articles
Shooters: How Video Games Fund Arms Manufacturers
Navy SEALs punished for secrecy breach tied to video game
Man Plays ’Civilisation’ Video Game For 10 Years, Simulation World Disintegrates into "Nightmare Of Suffering"
The U.S. Army Officially Licences Gun-Shaped ’Realistic’ Video Game Controllers
Blackwater founder Erik Prince enters video game business
Are Violent Video Games Adequately Preparing Children for the Apocalypse? (Video) ;)
Call Of Duty: Leaked Video Game Shows Players Can Shoot Airport Civilians In Terrorist Attack
McCain says it’s ’crazy’ not to seek regime change in Syria
Your Brain on Yoga: A Blueprint for Transformation
Researcher controls colleague’s motions in first human brain-to-brain interface


Latest News from our Front Page

Water rationing hits California: limit of 50 gallons per person per day or face fines of $500
2014 09 29
Millions of Californians are about to be hit with strict water rationing -- daily "allocation" numbers that represent the maximum amount of water you’re allowed to use for any purpose. Households that exceed the allocation limit will face stiff fines of hundreds of dollars per violation. "In July, the State Water Resources Control Board passed stage one emergency regulations, giving powers ...
Much of Earth’s Water is Older than the Sun
2014 09 29
Much of the water on Earth and elsewhere in the solar system likely predates the birth of the sun, a new study reports. The finding suggests that water is commonly incorporated into newly forming planets throughout the Milky Way galaxy and beyond, researchers said — good news for anyone hoping that Earth isn’t the only world to host life. “The implications of ...
Did the Vikings Get a Bum Rap?
2014 09 29
A Yale historian wants us to rethink the terrible tales about the Norse. This illustration shows the stereotype of Viking marauders wreaking mayhem, even on clergy. The scene depicts the monastery at Clonmacnoise, Ireland. The Vikings gave no quarter when they stormed the city of Nantes, in what is now western France, in June 843—not even to the monks barricaded in the ...
David Cameron Says Non-Violent Conspiracy Theorists Are Just As Dangerous As ISIS
2014 09 29
David Cameron told the U.N. that "non-violent extremism" is just as dangerous as terrorism and must be eradicated using all means at the government’s disposal. He references 9/11 and 7/7 Truthers as examples of the type of extremism that must be dealt in a similar fashion to ISIS. If you thought Obama’s War is Peace speech to the U.N. was creepy, ...
NY Times: Europe’s Anti-Semitism Comes Out of the Shadows
2014 09 28
NY Times Whines about European "Anti-Semitism" In the wake of the conflict in Gaza, three communities became flash points of violence and began contending with hatred they thought was buried in the past. Read the NY Times hit piece on Europe here Below is a rebuttal from Mike King’s The Anti-New York Times at tomatobubble.com: Strike up the violins and break out the barf ...
More News »