In our last post, we discussed the research about the cognition benefit from playing Super Mario. New research qualifies the kind of games that might help. Not all will.
Kind of Good News About Video Games
A large study (2,800+ participants) performed by researchers from Indiana University, South Florida University of South Florida and Penn State University tracked individuals over 10 years. Participant groups received memory, reasoning, or speed of processing training, or were part of a control group. If you’ve had a vision study at your ophthalmologist, you’ve done something like the speed of processing video game used in the study. To play, you must spot something, such as a highway sign on a roadway, and then spot something else in the periphery. The faster you identify and click on the objects, the better you score. As the game proceeds, the background becomes more complex making it harder to find the images. The good news: participants playing that type of game had a 29% lower incidence of dementia than the control group. That is a very big, important finding. As a study author Frederick Unverzagt, PhD noted: “This is the first time a study had shown a protective benefit against dementia” using brain training.
However, the reasoning and memory training groups had no such protective benefit. And the control group didn’t fare well. Overall, 9.2% or 260 individuals eventually developed dementia. Currently, speed of processing games are available at BrainHQ. Look for Lumosity to follow. Research details here.
Your Mom Was Right
A superstar team of doctors and PhD’s from Rush University and Medical Center, and Tufts University and Medical Center, studied 960 adults over about nine years, with an emphasis on diet. In particular, the researchers were interested in the benefits from nutrients in leafy green vegetables on cognitive performance. Participants with the highest consumption of leafy green vegetables (about 1.3 servings per day on average) had far better cognitive skills than others at the same age who ate less. This benefit is so noteworthy that one of the study leaders, Professor Martha Clare Morris of Rush University, illustrated the point by stating that those eating greens had mental skills equivalent to those 11 years younger. Research details here.
We can’t help you with video games. But we do have some great strategy games that make you study the whole game board and contemplate options. And they are way more fun than eating kale.
www.BigBrain.Place offers fun products that are good for your brain.