A 3D video game, which forces participants to divide their attention into several tasks, has managed to improve cognitive performance and prevent brain deterioration associated with age. In the study that has demonstrated the effectiveness of this game, 174 healthy people, aged between 20 and 79 years, participated and the results of the training have lasted for six months.
The volunteers trained for 12 hours - one hour a day three times a week for a month - with NeuroRacer, the video game designed by researchers from the University of California from San Francisco, in the United States, with the aim of preventing the cognitive deterioration that occurs with age.
The use of the videogame NeuroRacer made the cognitive performance of all the participants in the study improve, regardless of their age
The game consists of driving virtually on a road with many curves and traffic signs and, in addition, pressing a button every time a green dot appears on the screen, avoiding going off the track. Performing both actions simultaneously and repeatedly improves the neuroplasticity of the brain, which means that the neuronal connections, establishing more networks and more effective.
The researchers used electroencephalograms - a test that records brain bioelectric activity - to observe how to play with NeuroRacer it caused certain changes in certain areas of the brain, and verified how, as the training progressed, the neuronal interferences of the participants in the study increased. Specifically, they found improvements in two important cognitive areas: work memory and sustained attention.
The training got the cognitive performance of all participants was improved, regardless of their age. Adam Gazzaley, director of research and professor of neurology, physiology and psychiatry at the University of California, explained that human beings tend to put the autopilot when we have mastered a skill and that, however, this video game, forces players to remain on alert.