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Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
Date:1/23/2010

arning novel things, it activates our brains," he said.
  • Social interaction. "People who stay more socially engaged have more cognitive function," he said. "We think people will interact with each other through collaborating and playing the game."
  • Though the research efforts show the possibilities of using video games to help aging adults, Allaire noted that no studies have shown a transfer of video-game skills to real-world activities.

    "Is it going to help you remember to take your medications, or to remember what you wanted to buy at the store?" he asked. "That really hasn't been proven."

    Kramer said that seniors should consider video games one of a number of things they can do to keep themselves sharp.

    "I would not suggest that video games would be the only or even the best way to exercise those cognitive functions," he said, noting that physical exercise, social interaction and diet are already proven ways to promote mental abilities as you get older. "I would recommend they get out and ride a bike. I would recommend they learn a new language."

    More information

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on healthy aging.



    SOURCES: Jason Allaire, Ph.D., assistant professor, psychology, and co-director, Gains Through Gaming Lab, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.; Art Kramer, Ph.D., professor, neuroscience and psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill.; presentation, American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting, May 27-30, 2009, Seattle


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