Video Games May Sharpen Brain Power in Older Adults

Acquiring video game skills may translate into better multitasking abilities for middle-aged and elderly adults

If you’re an older adult that’s stepped away from the video game console, you might want to reconsider your decision. A study led by Adam Gazzaley of the University of California San Francisco tested a 3-D driving game on a group of older adults and discovered that playing the game did improve a person’s multitasking skills.

Discovery News reports:

“The researchers looked at the performance of a group of 16 people aged 60 to 85. They found that just 12 hours of training spread over a month dramatically improved the ability of the individuals in the group to pick out the right signs.  Some people even did as well or better than 20-year-olds playing for the first time.”

The game, “NeuroRacer,” forced players to keep an animated car on a changing, curving, animated road, according to NBC News. At the same time, images of colored geometric shapes appear and players are expected to click only on certain ones.

The full research report is available in the journal Nature.

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