BrainGym – Adam Gazzaley – NeuroRacer – Neuro Runners – Ben Greenfield Peter Diamandis.
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|Developer(s)||University of California, San Francisco|
NeuroRacer is a video game designed by a team of researchers at the University of California, San Francisco led by Adam Gazzaley as a way to help with mental cognition. It was designed as an «Adam Gazzaley intervention» for «top-down modulation deficits in older adults.» A study on 60- to 85-year-olds showed that the multitasking nature of the game caused improvements in tasks outside of the game involving working memory and sustained attention.
A 2013 review concluded that there is no good medical evidence to support claims that memory training helps people improve cognitive functioning. However, Neuroracer differs from conventional «memory training» apps, in that it focuses on multi-tasking in a virtual environment.
In 2013, Gazzaley published a paper in Nature reporting that six weeks of training with a video game called Neuroracer, in which the player seeks to discern relevant cues from distracting ones during a car race simulation, improved attention in older adults. The results were striking, given that attention markedly declines with age.
Gazzaley concluded that these adults’ improved performance after playing the game was due to enhanced function in a brain network involved in cognitive control, which is necessary to pursue goals.
In the 2013 research, Gazzaley’s lab measured low-frequency brain waves in the prefrontal cortex, as well as the coherence between frontal and posterior regions of the brain. As the older players of Neuroracer became more adept at the multitasking challenges of the game, their brains modulated this key neural network so that it came to resemble the activity seen in the brains of young adults.
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