Home Featured Post Update: Playing videogames may be more cognitively beneficial than other forms of screentime like social media, watching videos/ TV

Update: Playing videogames may be more cognitively beneficial than other forms of screentime like social media, watching videos/ TV

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Wel­come to a new edi­tion of Sharp­Brains’ e‑newsletter, fea­tur­ing time­ly brain & men­tal health news and a fun brain teas­er to put your tem­po­ral lobes to good use 🙂

#1. Study finds that play­ing videogames may be more cog­ni­tive­ly ben­e­fi­cial for chil­dren than oth­er forms of screen­time (social media, watch­ing videos/ TV)

Here, we esti­mat­ed the impact of dif­fer­ent types of screen time (watch­ing, social­iz­ing, or gam­ing) on children’s intel­li­gence while con­trol­ling for the con­found­ing effects of genet­ic dif­fer­ences in cog­ni­tion and socioe­co­nom­ic sta­tus … Broad­ly, our results are in line with research on the mal­leabil­i­ty of cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties from envi­ron­men­tal fac­tors, such as cog­ni­tive train­ing and the Fly­nn effect.”

Fas­ci­nat­ing! Hav­ing said that…

#2. Large neu­roimag­ing study finds social iso­la­tion to be an ear­ly indi­ca­tor of increased demen­tia risk

Social inter­ac­tion is huge­ly impor­tant. One study found that the size of our social group is actu­al­ly asso­ci­at­ed with the vol­ume of the orbitofrontal cor­tex (involved in social cog­ni­tion and emo­tion). But how many friends do we need? … It is hard to argue with the fact that humans are social ani­mals and gain enjoy­ment from con­nect­ing with oth­ers, what­ev­er age we are. But, as we are increas­ing­ly uncov­er­ing, it also cru­cial for the health of our cognition.”

#3. UC study finds near-trans­fer of cog­ni­tive train­ing to be nec­es­sary (yet not suf­fi­cient) for far-trans­fer, broad­er benefits

Some peo­ple do very well in train­ing, such as play­ing a video game, but they don’t show near trans­fer, per­haps because they are using high­ly spe­cif­ic strate­gies,” said first author Anja Pahor … “For these peo­ple, far trans­fer is unlike­ly. By bet­ter under­stand­ing why this type of mem­o­ry train­ing or ‘inter­ven­tion’ works for some peo­ple but not oth­ers, we can move for­ward with a new gen­er­a­tion of work­ing-mem­o­ry train­ing games or use approach­es that are more tai­lored to indi­vid­u­als’ needs”

#4. Please help us recruit 30,000 adults for a UC Cit­i­zen Sci­ence project on cog­ni­tive training

In our ongo­ing large-scale study (note: the one right above) we aim to recruit 30,000 adults who are moti­vat­ed and will­ing to help us bet­ter under­stand the fac­tors that under­lie learn­ing out­comes using a vari­ety of train­ing par­a­digms and out­come mea­sures. Our endeav­or will ulti­mate­ly con­tribute to the per­son­al­iza­tion of cog­ni­tive train­ing so that, hope­ful­ly, any­one who would like to improve their cog­ni­tive func­tion­ing will be able to choose the approach that may fit them best.” — researchers Susanne Jaeg­gi, Anja Pahor, Aaron Seitz @ UC Irvine/ Riverside

#5. Trend: Esports teams har­ness cog­ni­tive tests to bet­ter match play­er to task and to iden­ti­fy train­ing opportunities

Esports are bor­row­ing a page from Pro Sports’ book … we would­n’t be sur­prised to see the inverse tak­ing place too in just a few years.

#6. Dos and Don’ts of Ther­a­py on the Go: Nav­i­gat­ing the use of apps for men­tal health care

For those with­out severe men­tal ill­ness, app-based ther­a­py may be help­ful in match­ing clients with a pro­fes­sion­al famil­iar with a range of prob­lems and stres­sors. This makes apps attrac­tive to those with anx­i­ety and mild to mod­er­ate depres­sion. They also appeal to peo­ple who wouldn’t ordi­nar­i­ly seek out office-based ther­a­py, but who want help with life issues such as mar­i­tal prob­lems and work-relat­ed stress.”

#7. AI-enabled chat­bot Wysa receives FDA Break­through Device des­ig­na­tion for patients with chron­ic pain, depres­sion and anxiety

Let’s talk!

#8. And here’s the Brain Teas­er: Ready to stim­u­late those neu­rons in your tem­po­ral lobes?


Wish­ing you and yours a healthy and fun summer!


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