New research out of the University of California in San Francisco is indicating that playing a 3D racing game could be a, "way to reverse some of the negative effects of aging on the brn".
The research uses a 3D driving games called NeuroRacer
- see it in action below - as its main experimental tool. It's no student one-off either, it's been developed by Adam Gazzaley, MD, PhD, UCSF associate professor of neurology, physiology and psychiatry and director of the Neuroscience Imaging Centre.
According to info from the study, "in the game, participants race a car around a winding track while a variety of road signs pop up. Drivers are instructed to keep an eye out for a specific type of sign, while ignoring all the rest, and to press a button whenever that particular sign appears. The need to switch rapidly from driving to responding to the signs – i.e. multitasking – generates interference in the brain that undermines performance. The researchers found that this interference increases dramatically across the adult lifespan.
"But after receiving just 12 hours of training on the game, spread over a month, the 60- to 85-year-old study participants improved their performance until it surpassed that of 20-somethings who played the game for the first time.
The training also improved the participants’ performance in two other important cognitive areas: working memory and sustained attention. And participants maintained their skills at the video games six months after the training had ended."More info here. and here.