Report: 3D Video Games Improve Cognitive Performance
September 6, 2013 9:09 AM
comment(s) - last by
Study participant Ann Linsley plays the NeuroRacer game
(Source: Susan Merrell)
The game is called NeuroRacer, and it trained the brain of 60-85 year olds
Researchers from San Francisco found that the adult brain can be trained to
enhance cognitive performance
through the use of 3D video games.
Scientists from UC San Francisco -- led by Adam Gazzaley, MD, PhD, UCSF associate professor of neurology, physiology and psychiatry and director of the Neuroscience Imaging Center -- used a 3D car racing video game to train the brain in cognitive areas such as working memory and sustained attention. They wanted to see if training would have long-term results in cognitive performance.
The team took a group of 60- to 85-year-old participants and had them play 12 hours of the car racing video game (which was developed by the UCSF researchers) over a period of one month.
The game, called NeuroRacer, asks participants to race a car around a track while several different road signs appear. The participants must watch for a specific type of sign, while ignoring all the rest. When that particular sign appears, they must press a button.
According to the team, this sort of multitasking creates interference in the brain that weakens performance. They found that this interference increases significantly across the adult lifespan.
After the 12 hours of training with the 3D game, the participants had improved their performance until it exceeded that of 20-year-olds who played the game for the first time.
You might be thinking, "yeah, if you take enough time to master a skill, of course you'll get better, and the task will get easier." However, Gazzaley said that NeuroRacer is different. It doesn't allow for people's natural tendency to go on auto-pilot once they've mastered a game; it pushes them further, and gets harder as they get better.
Six months after the training was over, the participants were asked to play the game once again, and they had
maintained their skills
So what's the explanation for this improvement? The team said the training induced changes in a neural network.
The team used Electroencephalograph (EEG) recordings to measure midline frontal theta (low frequency oscillations) in the prefrontal cortex, as well as "the coherence in these waves between frontal and posterior regions of the brain." As the participants got better at the game, activity in this neural network started mimicking that of a 20-year-old.
The participants were put through another test, called Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA) (measures sustained attention), and performed rather well.
"The amount that midline frontal theta went up was related to something that was untrained, this other measure, the TOVA," said Joaquin A. Anguera, the paper's first author and a post-doctoral fellow in Gazzaley's lab. "It implies there's something that changed that was common to the training and to the task we tested afterwards."
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
9/9/2013 9:28:48 AM
I think the only consensus I'm willing to take away from studies on gaming so far is the "use it or lose it" attitude.
If you play the same game for 10 years it probably only yielded any cognitive benefit for the first few months. After that you're 50%+ autopilot. I'm sure there are other tasks that improve cognitive ability equally or better, pretty much anything except TV and alcohol (which are the current culture's dominant past times). I'd agree that one thing certain games, e.g. fast paced games such as FPS's, may highlight one area better than others like spatial awareness.
Disclosure: I'm most definitely a gamer
"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
Study: Playing Strategic Video Games Increases Cognitive Flexibility
August 22, 2013, 12:00 PM
Study Finds That Playing Video Games Improves Decision-Making
September 15, 2010, 1:43 PM
Creationists are Mad About Google Doodle Depicting Evolution
November 24, 2015, 8:48 PM
DHS and TSA: Whoops, We Missed That 73 Airport Employees May be Terrorists
November 19, 2015, 2:16 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information