Online Game Enhances Brain Efficiency
Art And Culture

Online Game Enhances Brain Efficiency

An online computer game ‘Zehn-Varz’ (mind trainer) has been designed by a research group at the prestigious Sharif University of Technology to help improve some brain functions of the elderly by up to four times after being played for two months.
As people age, their brain function and physical ability normally declines leading to Alzheimer’s. According to experts, brain activity deterioration can be slowed or even prevented with appropriate mind training in the same way that muscles stop worsening by physical exercise. This objective seems to be achievable using a piece of software comprising four different games, designed by the researchers, ISNA reported.
Highlighting the positive effects of mind training on the improvement of brain performance, leader of the project Maryam Hoviat-Talab said, “The software includes a collection of four games designed scientifically to help the elderly revive brain efficiency.”
Although a lot of games have been designed for smart phones so far, only a few have scientific basis, she noted. “Our software has a framework to boost short-term memory, concentration, speed of brain function and flexibility.” Pointing to the software capability to detect the approximate age of an individual’s brain based on the outcome of each game, she said, “To detect brain age, we drew on statistics, math models as well as assessment of Iranian performance in computer games to design the software.”

 Experimental Outcome
After being played by several randomly selected seniors on an experimental basis for two months, results showed that the games had a noticeable effect on the betterment of their brain function.
“We observed that the short-term memory of participants over the age of 55 improved up to four times after playing the ‘Number Game’ designed for this particular brain function. Accordingly, in the ‘Words Game’ (devised for dynamic memory), ‘Speed Game’, and ‘Flexibility Game’ (more sophisticated comprising several activities at the same time), 72%, 36%, and 21% progress was registered,” she noted.  
Pointing to the effects of the games on the everyday life of the elderly, she says, “Those who played the games for four to six weeks declared they can memorize phone numbers much easier than before.” Also, participants playing them every other day for six to eight weeks experienced a better social life.
“Continuous use of the software by young adults would enhance their brain function as well,” she said, noting that as the elders have a severe memory depletion compared to the youth, the intuitive changes are observed much better in them since the games revitalize their brain process, while the youth experience speed up in the retrieval process of information previously stored in their brain.
The game is freely available for the public through www.zehnvarz-sharif.com .


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