Brain-training game could make retired people better drivers – and they only have to play it for 20 minutes a day
- Game tested reaction times of the elderly, focus areas and memories
- After six weeks of playing, they did better in a driving test
- Players only had to complete the game 20 minutes a day, five days a week
A video game can help the elderly to stay safe on the road, research suggests.
A study found older people playing a game that tested their reaction times, attention span and memories while driving & # 39; driving & # 39; performed better behind the wheel six weeks later in real life.
And the retired people only had to play the game set on their own TV for five minutes a day, five minutes a day for five minutes a day.
Players were shown a pink musical note that moved around the above white circle. They had to quickly press a button on their console if the note was hidden behind a character, just like the sun
The research was conducted by Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, and led by Dr. Rui Nouchi, associate professor at the Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer.
As the world's life expectancy goes up, more older drivers will come on the road, the researchers wrote in the magazine Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.
Older drivers appear to have their vehicles crash earlier than middle-aged people.
This is believed to be because cognitive decline in old age affects their processing speed and attention span.
By being able to drive, however, the elderly can better maintain their social life, so that researchers try to find out if the brain can be & # 39; trained & # 39; to improve driving skills.
WHAT IS COGNITIVE TRAINING?
Cognitive training consists of activities that people do to improve skills such as problem solving, memory and attention with practice.
It can be performed via computer games or training programs & # 39; s.
Cognitive training works through the brain that creates new electrical paths in a process called neuroplasticity, thereby enhancing the number of nerve connections it contains.
It is being used more and more by doctors, such as psychologists and speech therapists, to help people recover after brain damage or stroke.
And it can also be used in schools to help students overcome learning difficulties or life coaching to promote positive thinking.
Sixty people between 65 and 80 years old had cognitive practice games on their TV at home.
Half of the participants played games that tested their driving skills on the car, while the rest regularly played games regarding their attention and thinking speed.
The participants, all of whom had driving licenses, were asked to play the games for 20 minutes at a time for at least five days a week for six weeks.
The first autogame tested the processing speeds of the participants by showing them two characters with numbers.
They then had to select the larger number as quickly as possible.
In the attention game, players had to perform two tasks at the same time, such as pressing buttons in response to a character on the screen.
And in the speed assignment, the participants had to press a button quickly when a character appeared.
Their driving ability was assessed before and after the six weeks via a 20-minute test on the road with an instructor in the car.
The cognitive function of the participants, including processing speed, attention and memory, was also measured.
The game is set up on the player's TV at home and connected to the internet
Players were also asked to select the board with the larger number as quickly as possible
In a game that tested their speed prediction, a target moved behind the gray wall from left to right. Participants quickly pushed a button when the target reappeared from behind the wall
The results showed that the participants who played the racing game saw a significant improvement in their road skills and processing speeds, but not in their memories or areas of focus.
They also reported that they have more & # 39; power & # 39; had what the researchers laid down for & # 39; cognitive training that functions as emotional regulation & # 39 ;.
& # 39; These results postponed our earlier findings that regular use of a simple cognitive training game can benefit older adults driving a car & # 39 ;, said Dr. Nouchi.
However, the researchers emphasize that because the participants improved part of their path and cognitive skills, they did not automatically become good drivers.
Future studies should investigate whether cognitive training reduces the number of collisions, she added.
Their study also only measured the effect of cognitive training games on the driving ability of a player in the short term.
Additional research should analyze the long-term effects, the researchers said.