News / Health

    Video Game Boosts Brain Power of Older Adults

    Computer Game Could Sharpen Elderly Braini
    X
    September 06, 2013 10:49 AM
    As people age, they may have more and more difficulty remembering things. Many also complain that their thinking is not as sharp as when they were younger. Doctors recommend various exercises to keep the brain active as long as possible. And now, a new study shows that some computer games also may help boost the mental abilities of elderly people. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    "Computer Game Could Sharpen Elderly Brain" - related video report by Zlatica Hoke
    Jessica Berman
    Scientists have developed a video game for older adults that appears to improve their short-term memory and long-term focus.  Seniors who play the so-called multi-tasking game develop neurological improvements rivaling those of 20-year-olds.

    Peoples’ short and long-term cognitive abilities decline with each passing decade.  But there is growing scientific evidence that the human brain, with the right stimulation, can be reprogrammed to counteract the effects of age.

    The latest research comes out of the University of California San Francisco, where researchers developed a video game for seniors called NeuroRacer.  

    The game study involved more than a dozen 60 to 80-year-old participants, who were asked to maneuver a video-screen car at the same time that signs flashed in front of them on a screen.  The signs were either relevant or irrelevant to the game play.  The participants followed signs they deemed relevant and disregarded those they thought were unimportant.

    Researchers began their investigation by measuring how well participants performed on one task and compared it to how well they did when a second task was added.  

    Compared with young people who played the game once, study lead author Adam Gazzaley said in a telebriefing with reporters there was a striking improvement in multi-tasking after seniors practiced at home for one month.

    “Before training, they had a 65 percent drop in performance when they do the two tasks versus one task.  After training, they only had a 16 percent drop in performance. And that’s better than the 20-year-olds that had a performance drop in the 27 percent range," said Gazzaley.

    Most striking to Gazzaley was that improvements in the seniors' brain power carried over for six months into other mental areas and without any additional game play...

    “..like sustained attention, which is vigilance, ability to hold your attention to something that is very boring and respond to it rapidly and accurately, that improved selectively in this group.  And also working memory, their ability to hold something in mind for a short period of time and respond to it accurately and rapidly; that also improved," he said.

    Although he’s reluctant to endorse commercially available video games, Gazzaley says some shooter games that focus players’ attention on a particular target could have a similar benefit.

    Gazzeley says his lab is in the process of developing other video games for people with attention deficit disorder and depression.

    An article on a video game that boosts the brain power of older individuals is published in the journal Nature.

    You May Like

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
    September 09, 2013 5:37 AM
    Yes, everthing, not only video games, which stimulates us could boost not only brain power but all kinds of our abilitiy, positively or negatively.

    by: Kitagawa Keikoh from: Nakame, TKO
    September 06, 2013 9:05 PM
    I've heard several times about a goodness of playing video games for our brain. Does this report has some new findings?

    Video games are good to improve elder people's brain but all video games are designed for younger people and it is too difficult to understand the rules and how to play games for eldery people.

    Video games makers should develop

    by: Anonymous
    September 05, 2013 11:08 PM
    Didn't Nintendo already have something like this back in 2006?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.