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

Hungary’s Orban Bashes Liberal Immigration Policy
2014 08 29
Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday lashed out against immigration, setting one of the main policy objectives of his next term in power after winning parliamentary elections in April. “The goal is to cease immigration whatsoever,” said Hungary’s prime minister. “I think the current liberal immigration policy, which is considered obvious and morally based, is hypocrite,” Mr. Orban said. At a ...
China’s “Duplitecture” Cities Mimic the World’s Greatest Architectural Hits
2014 08 29
The best knockoffs in the world are in China. There are plenty of fake designer handbags and Rolexes, but China’s knockoffs go way beyond fashion. There are knockoff Apple stores that look so much like the real thing that some employees believe they are working in real Apple stores. And then there are entire knockoff cities. There are Venices with ...
Kiev loses control of Novoazovsk, rebel troops advance in southeast Ukraine
2014 08 29
Kiev’s troops had to leave the eastern Ukrainian city of Novoazovsk to save their lives, said the country’s Security and Defense Council. The authorities admitted that self-defense forces are advancing and leading a counteroffensive in the southeast. Along with Novoazovsk, Kiev troops have lost control over the villages of Amvrosiivka and Starobeshevo in the Donetsk Region of Eastern Ukraine. According to Ukraine’s ...
Mohammed is most popular name in Oslo
2014 08 29
For the first time in the capital city’s history, Mohammed is the most common name for boys and men, said a study on Thursday. Statistics Norway (Statistisk Sentralbyrå - SSB) has counted the population of Oslo and found that Mohammed is the most common male name in Oslo for the first time ever. Jørgen Ouren of SSB said to NRK: “It is ...
Beaten to Death at McDonald’s
2014 08 29
To the four clean-cut college freshman out on a double date, it had seemed like a typical McDonald’s: spanking clean, well-lighted, and safe. It was in a good neighborhood too, right next to Texas A&M University in College Station -- a campus known for its friendly atmosphere and official down-home greeting: “howdy.” Shortly after 2 A.M. that Sunday, they pulled into ...
More News »