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Games and intelligence

05-24-2011, 12:45 AM
#1
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 205
Games and intelligence

Did you know certain types of games that require you to react fast in certain ways can actually assist in motor cortex improvement and neuroplasticity. Also You can actually say youre getting smarter by playing.

PM me if youre interested and ill send or point u to the nature neuroscience
05-24-2011, 01:26 AM
#2
Joined: May 2011
Location: Big Apple
Posts: 197
You mean you have this kinda game?

05-24-2011, 01:38 AM
#3
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 1,392
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBioReplicant View Post
Did you know certain types of games that require you to react fast in certain ways can actually assist in motor cortex improvement and neuroplasticity. Also You can actually say youre getting smarter by playing.

PM me if youre interested and ill send or point u to the nature neuroscience
not that i'm interested, but why do people have to PM you for it...?
05-24-2011, 05:13 AM
#4
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Italy
Posts: 2,916
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBioReplicant View Post
Did you know certain types of games that require you to react fast in certain ways can actually assist in motor cortex improvement and neuroplasticity. Also You can actually say youre getting smarter by playing.

PM me if youre interested and ill send or point u to the nature neuroscience
I'm not intelligent and I don't want to become intelligent. Thanks anyway.

I love this world!
05-24-2011, 05:53 AM
#5
Joined: May 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 83
There are studies that support this view and there are studies that don't agree with it.

What seems pretty clear is that the brain stays healthier if you use different parts of it frequently (as in: four times a week is better than one time), and, especially, if you learn new things often. For example, it can be beneficial to do crossword puzzles, and that'll train your brain's ability to fetch words. Very little of this however, if anything, helps other areas of the brain and after you have become decent at doing crosswords, the additional benefits are very minimal. So if you play a lot of games of the same kind, the improvements are small and hard to measure in studies. (The brain generally retains "new stuff" better -- the more unusual and different something is, the easier it is to memorize it.)

There are some activities, like for instance playing the Asian board game of Go, that train different parts of the game, and there are studies that show that the brains of professional Go players start storing information in areas of the brain that aren't intended for storage at all, but are nonetheless claimed for that use. The brain certainly does adjust to what you do with it.

Variety is important, though. If you go to the gym and only lift small weights, you'll end up with a pretty well-developed, muscular upper body. But you'll still have chicken legs. It's much the same for the brain, which is why experts in one field are so often not very competent in others. Jacks-of-all-trades tend to be more well-rounded and, from a brain development perspective, healthier.

I always shy away when people claim that something "makes you smarter". I'd instead say that something that you do makes you better at what you do. Whether that's playing games or baking cookies.
05-24-2011, 07:16 AM
#6
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 3,741
If you're really intelligent you'll play all of the games I like to play

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05-24-2011, 03:37 PM
#7
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan View Post
not that i'm interested, but why do people have to PM you for it...?
So as to not clutter the forums with extensive information, scientific journals, that the respected friends here are not interested in, like you, for example. Better to let the guests point out what they are or are not interested in to drive intelligent discourse.
05-24-2011, 04:32 PM
#8
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mivo View Post
There are studies that support this view and there are studies that don't agree with it.

What seems pretty clear is that the brain stays healthier if you use different parts of it frequently (as in: four times a week is better than one time), and, especially, if you learn new things often. For example, it can be beneficial to do crossword puzzles, and that'll train your brain's ability to fetch words. Very little of this however, if anything, helps other areas of the brain and after you have become decent at doing crosswords, the additional benefits are very minimal. So if you play a lot of games of the same kind, the improvements are small and hard to measure in studies. (The brain generally retains "new stuff" better -- the more unusual and different something is, the easier it is to memorize it.)

There are some activities, like for instance playing the Asian board game of Go, that train different parts of the game, and there are studies that show that the brains of professional Go players start storing information in areas of the brain that aren't intended for storage at all, but are nonetheless claimed for that use. The brain certainly does adjust to what you do with it.

Variety is important, though. If you go to the gym and only lift small weights, you'll end up with a pretty well-developed, muscular upper body. But you'll still have chicken legs. It's much the same for the brain, which is why experts in one field are so often not very competent in others. Jacks-of-all-trades tend to be more well-rounded and, from a brain development perspective, healthier.

I always shy away when people claim that something "makes you smarter". I'd instead say that something that you do makes you better at what you do. Whether that's playing games or baking cookies.
The latest studies actually support the notion fairly conclusively. The studies you refer to take populations that are in the lower spectrum of congitive function - so things like exercise and diet will make some improvement. The astonishing research being conducted now, primarily by Dr. Daphne Bevalier, shows congitive function improvement that is generalized, not context-specific.

You are right - context specific games only train you for a specfic task. Like Tetris, for example, your brain "caches" the rotations and shapes and its simply a speed lookup-table at that point. Games which "context switch" force your brain to rewire.

We tried to do this in SlugBugs, for example, towards the latter levels where the cars are arching, or the cars are going over the road. Its a different mechanic and reaction-ability to succeed, so the "switch" from one task to another is what, in theory, could cause some healthy rewiring.

One of the interesting things that hapened with me while playing SlugBugs is that i got better at my other favorite games that required similar reaction-quickness. Of course a proper study would be needed to verify such a claim, but my hunch is that its having an effect.
05-26-2011, 08:22 PM
#9
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 4,443
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBioReplicant View Post
One of the interesting things that hapened with me while playing SlugBugs is that i got better at my other favorite games that required similar reaction-quickness. Of course a proper study would be needed to verify such a claim, but my hunch is that its having an effect.
Is that what you are referring to when you say "intelligence"?

Now Playing: Vietnam '65 | .Decluster | BP2Black | Monster Hunter Freedom Unite | Banner Saga | Ultimate General Gettysburg | Papers, Please | SmartGo Kifu | Crowntakers | Brogue | FTL
05-27-2011, 07:20 AM
#10
Joined: May 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBioReplicant View Post
The latest studies actually support the notion fairly conclusively. [...] We tried to do this in SlugBugs, for example, towards the latter levels where the cars are arching, or the cars are going over the road. Its a different mechanic and reaction-ability to succeed, so the "switch" from one task to another is what, in theory, could cause some healthy rewiring.
Yes, but you'd get the same benefits from playing a number of different games, learning some new board games, read books from mixed genres, do things you rarely or never did before (simple stuff like physical exercises), etc.

I agree with you that playing games, particularly those that require different parts of the brain, do have beneficial effects on mental health and prevent premature aging of the brain, but I also feel that "do this and get smarter!" is often heavily about marketing. Many of the studies I have seen just weren't independent, but paid for. Although I have also seen negative studies of questionable scientific value, e.g. one where test subjects randomly choose what to do, for 10 minutes a week over six weeks -- of course it didn't find any relevant improvements.

There's nothing wrong with this, although it does ride on people's desire to be "better" (than others?), or their fears to lose their sharpness and mental prowess (approaching 40 quickly, I totally understand that part! ). Health sells.