Wednesday, March 05, 2014

More on building brains with video games

Nick Bilton does a brief piece on how trying to win various kinds of video games enhances subsequent performance on real world attention and memory tests.
Daphné Bavelier, a neuroscientist with the University of Rochester, found that people who play first-person shooter video games for two weeks can improve visual attention, mental reasoning and decision-making skills. A 2007 study by Iowa State University psychologists compared surgeons who played video games to those who didn’t and found that, during laparoscopic surgeries, the gamers were 27 percent faster and made 37 percent fewer mistakes than nongamers. And decades of research around Tetris has shown that playing it for extended periods may increase memory and cognitive skills.
....the goal is to figure out what makes a game addictive on a neurological level, then to couple this with brain research showing how play can improve the mind...imagine five years from now that you go to the doctor with a problem and he prescribes an F.D.A.-approved video game for you to download and play for two weeks.

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