Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica | Ars on your lunch break: This is your brain on video games

Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica |

triumph —

Part two of our interview with UCSF neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley on neuroplasticity.

Rob Reid

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“You know what I really enjoy? Testing subjects with video games. Or just testing in general.”

Valve Software

Below, you’ll find the second installment of the After On podcast interview with University of California, San Francisco neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley and his trailblazing work to develop the medical potential that may be latent in video games. Please check out part one if you missed it. Otherwise, press play on the embedded player or pull up the transcript—both of which are below.

Gazzaley and I open today’s installment discussing techniques that mad scientists like him can use to thwack the brain (legally and safely, of course) to increase its neuroplasticity. If Gazzaley’s lab-crafted games can truly increase the brain’s resilience against neurological horrors like dementia and autism, upping its neuroplasticity during a playing session could multiply the benefits.

We then talk about the limits of medical imaging—and the lamentable fact that this technology isn’t rocketing down a Moore’s Law-like curve, which could improve it exponentially well in advance of the next Backstreet Boys reunion. Since Gazzaley and I recorded this conversation a year ago, Mary Lou Jepsen’s startup Open Water has gone public with its plans to refine neural imaging by a factor of a billion (yup, that’s a “b,” not a typo).

In closing, we discuss some of the newer things Gazzaley’s lab is exploring. There’s some intriguing work connected to meditation and an experimental game that pushes the player to the edge on both a cognitive and cardiovascular level. Gazzaley points out that in real life, few of us (other than elite athletes) ever approach both of

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