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

Sweden’s military drills for an invasion of Stockholm
2014 11 24
During two weekends in November, units from the Life Guards, Command and Control and Luftvärnsregementet practiced defense of Stockholm. Stockholm, and its vital public infrastructure, will be defended in the event of armed aggression, and it must be practiced. Therefore joined several units to defend the strategically important locations in and around the capital. Comment: Pro NATO influences in Sweden once again ...
Recent Israeli Synagogue Attack, a Possible False Flag?
2014 11 21
Dear Friends - I woke up yesterday morning to see a newspaper lying on the kitchen table with the front page proclaiming that five people were slain in an Israeli synagogue after a so-called "Palestinian attack." Some members of the media said that four people were killed, others said five, so it seems like that there was some confusion (or ...
The Michael Brown Shooting, Race Baiting for Political Power and Militarization of the Police
2014 11 21
From Youtube: The evidence clearly shows that Officer Darren Wilson was justified in shooting Michael Brown, so why is this case being hyped by the mainstream media and the leftist political establishment?
Ancient Aryan Mummies and Pyramids of China
2014 11 21
After years of controversy and political intrigue, archaeologists using genetic testing have proven that Caucasians roamed China’s Tarim Basin thousands of years before East Asian people arrived. The research, which the Chinese government has appeared to have delayed making public out of concerns of fueling Uighur Muslim separatism in its western-most Xinjiang region, is based on a cache of ancient dried-out ...
Detekt: A New Malware Detection Tool That Can Expose Illegitimate State Surveillance
2014 11 21
Recent years have seen a boom in the adoption of surveillance technology by governments around the world, including spyware that provides its purchasers the unchecked ability to target remote Internet users’ computers, to read their personal emails, listen in on private audio calls, record keystrokes and passwords, and remotely activate their computer’s camera or microphone. EFF, together with Amnesty International, ...
More News »