August 21, 2013
Science Daily/Queen Mary, University of London
Certain types of video games can help to train the brain to become more agile and improve strategic thinking, according to scientists.
Dr Brian Glass from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, said: "Previous research has demonstrated that action video games, such as Halo, can speed up decision making but the current work finds that real-time strategy games can promote our ability to think on the fly and learn from past mistakes."
"Our paper shows that cognitive flexibility, a cornerstone of human intelligence, is not a static trait but can be trained and improved using fun learning tools like gaming." Professor Brad Love from UCL, said: "Cognitive flexibility varies across people and at different ages. For example, a fictional character like Sherlock Holmes has the ability to simultaneously engage in multiple aspects of thought and mentally shift in response to changing goals and environmental conditions."
"Creative problem solving and 'thinking outside the box' require cognitive flexibility. Perhaps in contrast to the repetitive nature of work in past centuries, the modern knowledge economy places a premium on cognitive flexibility."
Dr Glass added: "The volunteers who played the most complex version of the video game performed the best in the post-game psychological tests. We need to understand now what exactly about these games is leading to these changes, and whether these cognitive boosts are permanent or if they dwindle over time. Once we have that understanding, it could become possible to develop clinical interventions for symptoms related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or traumatic brain injuries, for example."
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130821094924.htm