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Neurologists examine the brain on video games

James Ransom-Wiley
January 4, 2011
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The New York Times' Bits blogger Matt Richtel recently took part in a University of California at San Francisco study of the brain by playing a "primitive" racing game inside of an MRI machine. This wasn't one of those attempts to show that gaming can improve brain functions, but rather the early stages of a larger project to "measure and map the ethereal concept of attention." Ritchel's brain was observed as he maneuvered around or ignored "distractions" in the game (a multitasking simulation).

Personally, we think this science project needs to evolve a bit. Look at that brain! It's bored out of its mind. For real, when there are other researchers out there bringing back giant aurochs from extinction or growing an "alien" form of bacteria, it's on today's scientists to step their game up. At least force test subjects to make some real Split/Second decisions.

Following Richtel's playtime in the MRI scanner, Dr. Adam Gazzaley, lead researcher of the UCSF project, concluded that the results were "neither surprising nor novel and consistent with existing literature." Yeah, but what would happen if you threw in an attack helicopter and some exploding barrels?

[Image sources: The New York Times; Shutterstock]







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