Video games can be used as medicine for your brain, says UCSF researcher

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USING VIDEO GAMES AS MEDICINE. THIS LATEST RESEARCH COMES FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN FRANCISCO. THEY DEVELOPED A SERIES OF GAMES THAT IMPROVE YOUR COGNITIVE FUNCTIONING. JOIN US TO TALK ABOUT RESEARCH BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF NEUROSCIENCES. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME THIS MORNING. HOW DID THE IDEA OF THE PROJECT BIRTH? >> WE’VE DONE A LOT OF AGING RESEARCH. WE ARE INTERESTED IN UNDERSTANDING NARROW NETWORKS. WHY DO ADULT PEOPLE COMPLAIN OF MEMORY LOSS? RESEARCH HAS LEAD TO A SERIES OF CONCLUSIONS THAT THE USE OF MEMORY IS NOT JUST MEMORY, IT IS ALSO INTENTIONAL. WE WERE INTERESTED IN THE IDEA THAT MAYBE WE COULD IMPROVE THESE EXPERIENCES AND HELP PEOPLE LIVE HEALTHIER LIFESTYLES. WE LOOKED AT VIDEO GAMES AS A MEANS OF BRAIN TRACKING. NOW WE’VE SEEN IN MANY DIFFERENT EXPERIMENTS THAT YOU CAN IMPROVE DIFFERENT FORMS OF MEMORY SUCH AS SHORT-TERM MEMORY AND ALSO ATTENTION, WHICH IS IMPORTANT FOR MEMORY. WE’VE DISCOVERED A LOT OF DIFFERENT GAMES THAT WE BELIEVE ARE IMPORTANT FOR BRAIN IMPROVEMENT. YOU WANT TO BLOW YOUR BRAIN OUT. YOU DON’T WANT TO SHIP. MIKE: HOW DID YOU COME ABOUT COLLECTING DATA FOR DEVELOPMENT PROCESSING? >> WE ASKED ADULTS AND WE ASKED IF THEY WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR RESEARCH. WE GAVE THEM A TABLET. SOMETIMES THEY COME INTO OUR LABORATORY. ONE OF OUR MEASUREMENTS IS VIRTUAL REALITY. WE TEST THEM IN OUR LABORATORIES. WE’VE SCANNED THEIR BRAINS USING THINGS LIKE MAGNETIC DETECTION. WE WATCH HOW THE BRAIN CHANGES. WE ALSO LOOK AT WHAT OTHER MEASURES OF COGNITIVE FUNCTIONING ARE. MIKE: WAS THERE ANYTHING THAT SURPRISED YOU? >> THE LAST FINDING WE RECENTLY PUBLISHED WAS THAT MUSIC TRAINING SUCCEEDED IN IMPROVING MEMORY FOR FACES. THIS IS USUAL IN LATER LIFE. SOMETIMES AFTER YOU MEET A GROUP OF PEOPLE YOU FORGET THEIR FACES. MUSIC LEARNING THAT TRAINS DIFFERENT FORMS OF MEMORY. WE REMEMBERED THEM RHYTHMS. WHICH INCLUDED THE PART OF THE BRAIN THAT IS INVOLVED IN DIFFERENT FORMS OF MEMORY. MUSIC TRAINING SUCCEEDED IN IMPROVING FACE MEMORY, WHICH WAS VERY SURPRISING AND EXCITING. MIKE: IT’S AMAZING HOW THAT BRAIN — THE BRAIN

Video games can be used as medicine for your brain, says UCSF researcher


All those hours you or your kids spend playing video games could be good for your health. New research from the University of California, San Francisco shows that this form of electronic entertainment can have therapeutic benefits, namely video games can train your brain. memory as well as attention,” said Ted Zanta, director of neuroscience at UCSF. To learn more about his research, watch the full interview with Zanto in the video above.

All those hours you or your kids spend playing video games could be good for your health.

New research from the University of California, San Francisco suggests that this form of electronic entertainment can have therapeutic benefits, namely that video games can train your brain.

“Now we’ve seen in many cases that you can improve different forms of memory, such as short-term memory, long-term memory, and attention,” said Ted Zanta, director of the neuroscience department at UCSF.

To learn more about his study, watch the full interview with Zanto in the video above.

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