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Monday, September 10, 2012

Video of the Day: Videogames Make Us Smarter

Posted By on Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 8:30 AM

  • Brain juice

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.

Dr. Adam Gazzaley speaks at 6 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Commonwealth Club, 595 Market (at Second St.). Admission is $7-$20.

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.

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

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About The Author

Matt Saincome

Matt Saincome

Matt Saincome is SF Weekly's former music editor.


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