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Study to see if video games can boost thinking skills in elderly
Date:6/30/2009

The researchers will test the cognitive functioning of participants, men and women 65 years old and older, to establish a baseline. They will then have participants play BOOM BLOX or BOOM BLOX Bash Party, Wii video games developed by Electronic Arts, before testing the participants cognitive functioning again. BOOM BLOX and BOOM BLOX Bash Party are games in which novelty, attentional demand and social interaction may be manipulated by the researchers.

For example, if we find that novelty and attentional demand improve cognition, well then develop a game that focuses on that, McLaughlin says. Dr. Jason Allaire, an assistant professor of psychology at NC State who is co-PI on the grant, explains that developing a new game highlighting the qualities that seemed to have the greatest impact on cognitive functioning will allow us to see if we can get greater benefits that might transfer to real-world outcomes such as remembering to take medication.

McLaughlin and Allaire will be working with Georgia Tech Research Scientist Maribeth Gandy to develop the prototype game based on their research findings.


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Contact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-6386
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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