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
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…