The PJ Tatler

Science: Games People Play are Good for the Brain

I don’t know about you, but I’d like a diversion from the looming conflagration in the Middle East. So how about a little justification for messing around with video games?

Brain scientists have discovered that swerving around cars while simultaneously picking out road signs in a video game can improve the short-term memory and long-term focus of older adults. Some people as old as 80, the researchers say, begin to show neurological patterns of people in their 20s.

Cognitive scientists say the findings, to be published Thursday in the scientific journal Nature, are a significant development in understanding how to strengthen older brains. That is because the improvements in brain performance did not come just within the game but were shown outside the game in other cognitive tasks.

Further supporting the findings, the researchers were able to measure and show changes in brain wave activity, suggesting that this research could help understand what neurological mechanisms should and could be tinkered with to improve memory and attention.

It sounds like they were playing Crazy Taxi. Or maybe something like Sleeping Dogs or GTA in this four year, $300,000 study.

The field is young, the research is raw, more needs to be done, and so forth and so on. The bottom line, though, is if you want to train your brain and keep it young, then game on. It may take your mind off the possibility that Obama is risking war with Russia…as winter approaches.

That always works out well.