We're always looking for ways to increase our cognitive abilities. Sadly, that "increase" often comes by way of coffee or 5-Hour Energy drinks these days. Others resort to vitamins or specific diets to supplement their brain juice. But Dr. Adam Gazzaley, founding director of the Neuroscience Imaging Center at UCSF, says maybe all we need to do is kick back and play some videogames.
That's right, folks. Call in sick to work, dim the lights, turn off the smartphone, and get in a nice game session; according to new data, discussed in detail in tonight's "Video Games as Cognitive Enhancers" talk, commercially available videogames can improve our cognitive abilities through a phenomenon known as neuroplasticity. As our brains encounter and solve new problems (like the ones video games throw at us), they modify both their structure and function in response to the new experiences -- and such skills, Gazzaley says, can be transferred to different domains. Here's hoping those Call of Duty skills will transfer nicely into the get-a-girlfriend domain.
Here's a video of Gazzaley that addresses the ever vexing conundrum of going to the fridge and not remembering what the hell you were looking for.