Fighting aliens in the living room is good for the brain

video game playerGreat news for action video game fanatics – researchers have demonstrated that as you “skiet and donner“ your way to victory, you are training your brain to be better at making quick decisions.

So this week’s Neurotechnology Tip encourages you to develop your trigger finger a little,  and improve your thinking skills at the same time.

Gamers think faster

The research team was able to demonstrate that game players come to “the right” conclusion about 25 % faster than people who play strategy games.

You read it correctly, not just faster but more accurate – how cool is that.

Why faster fingers mean better decisions

The reason for better decision making ability is because, in order to succeed at playing the game, it is necessary to perform a thing called probabilistic interference.

Probabilistic interference basically means

  • you have to gather all the bits of information (info you can see and hear),
  • do some quick calculations in your head to predict what is likely to happen based on the info and
  • then decide what you’re going to do about it and
  • finally do it. 

It sounds pretty easy on paper but in reality decisions are seldom black and white, they are typically something in between, so they end up requiring sophisticated calculations of chance.

Being able to decide quickly is important

Making decisions is a valuable life skill needed for a variety of tasks.  Being able to do it quickly and accurately is definitely a huge advantage.

Think how helpful it is, if you are driving your car and you see something on your right.  Your brain needs to figure out whether you are on a collision course and decide whether to brake or not to  brake.  The wrong decision here can end up in a BIG mess possibly even death.

Practice makes perfect

Playing action video games ensures your brain gets lots of practice and hey practice makes perfect.   

So why do video games often get negative press ?  

Unfortunately if you spend all your time honing these skills, you end up not practicing other important things, like reading and writing and talking to real people.

So make sure you don’t overdo the video games, but keep fighting the aliens because these skills could make you a world-class performer.

To wire up your brain a little each week ………………..

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Further reading

old guy playing a round of golf on video console brainbladder brain juggling parcels with a little alcohol
 Stroke play on the video console is therapy for stroke patients For big decisions bringing in the bladder to “help” the brain is best   Don’t let alcohol hang the wiring in your brain

The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on.

balance eicosanoids rein in insulin dial down stress sleep vitamin D microflora think
Balance Eicosanoids Rein in insulin Dial down stress Sleep ! Increase Vit D Culivate microflora Think champion

Hire Dr Sandy from a Spoonful of Science to be the keynote speaker at your next event.

Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below…..

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  1. By » Blog Archive » Round up 19 Sept – 23 Sept on September 26, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    [...] Fighting aliens in the living room is good for the brain [...]

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