Scientists predict video game ability through your brain waves

The methods can be used to train your memory and attention span.

If you always lose at FIFA 2012, science has an excuse for you: some brains are made for video game success and some are not.

Using subjects who did not play games regularly, researchers at the University of Illinois were able to predict who would excel at Space Fortress, a video game specially designed for studying cognitive research. Using electric imaging, researchers assessed the strength of subjects’ alpha brain waves, (associated with relaxation) and found these had accurately reflected improvements. “By measuring your brain waves the very first time you play the game, we can predict how fast you’ll learn over the next month,” said postdoctoral researcher Kyle Mathewson.

The game was seen as a test of subjects’ ability to perform complex tasks in general as part of a wider probe into brain structure. Successful players performed well in decision-making, attention and self-control, suggesting that alpha waves could be key to learning development.

“Ongoing studies show we can be trained to enhance alpha activity – and that this can have a positive effect on conditions such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD),” Dr. Ole Jensen of Holland-based Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour told Metro. “Alpha waves shut down irrelevant brain regions to stop distractions.”

‘Neurofeedback’ is a rapidly developing industry with clinics charging high fees to alter people’s brainwaves. Dr. Jensen believes this is premature: “We don’t yet know how strong an effect we can have so it is a little misleading to sell the service.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 11,…

Caleb's not a ghost. Spencer might still be an attempted murderer. And Hanna's going to die next week. In other words, we actually got some…

Movies

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Television

Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.

Television

5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Parenting

How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.

Tech

How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…

Tech

OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.