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Older gamers better at mental agility?

Posted By Alejandra Owens On February 6, 2009 @ 3:20 pm In Personal Health | No Comments

I’ve never heard of a better reason to play video games! The Guardian has an article [1]on new study which found that after playing a strategy-based video game, older adults became better at certain mental abilities that tend to decline as people age, like scheduling, multi-tasking and holding two or more things in our short-term memory at one time. Check it out:

The study included 40 adults in their 60s and 70s who hadn’t played a video game for at least two years. Half received nearly 24 hours of training on a game called Rise of Nations, which gives players points for building cities, feeding and employing citizens, expanding territory, and creating great works of art, technology and architecture. The other half didn’t play or train on any game.
The researchers used several tests to measure each person’s mental abilities at the beginning, middle and end of the study. They found that gamers improved in several measures compared with non-gamers. They became much better and faster at switching between tasks. Their reasoning and their ability to hold two or more pieces of information in their memory also improved. They also did better in tests measuring their short-term memory of visual cues and their ability to quickly identify objects that had been rotated.

The study was funded by the US National Institute on Aging, and published in the American Psychological Association’s journal, Psychology and Aging. Who knew video games could potentially be good for you? Check out the whole piece [1]for more info.


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[1] The Guardian has an article : http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/besttreatments/2008/dec/10/video-game-improves-mental-agility-in-older-people

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