Posts Tagged ‘games and science’

Schizophrenia patients helped by videogame in early research study

schizophreniaheader

My job, you’ll be surprised to hear, involves an awful lot of thinking about videogames. I think about them as toys, as pieces of art, as arenas for competition and, if I’m feeling pretentious, as tools for expanding my mind. What I don’t often get to do is think about them as part of a medical treatment.

In a small study, researchers have found that schizophrenia patients can learn to control the part of their brain linked to verbal hallucinations by playing a videogame. While inside an MRI scanner, the participants were shown a rocket that responded to changes in the speech sensitive region of their brain. Almost all of the 12 participants managed to safely land the rocket by employing their own mental strategies, using feedback from the game to manage their verbal hallucinations.

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Gaming Brain: Expert Response To Greenfield

I'll get you next time, Dean Burnett.

On Friday, when I was off having better things to do that pick apart another misleading and harmful series of half-truths and outright nonsense about the horrors of videogaming, Jim put things rather more succinctly. Baroness Von Greenfield continued her sad descent from being respected by anyone, and once more proved that a lot of knowledge combined with absolutely no knowledge at all is a dangerous and embarrassingly biased thing. Rather splendidly, the Telegraph’s Tom Chivers sought the expert opinion of a real expert, one Dr Dean Burnett of Cardiff University, who has written a statement-by-statement riposte to the obfuscated scaremongering Greenback offered. It’s well worth a read, not just because it offers balanced, educated views on the effects of gaming on the brain, but also because it’s a darned good, educational read in its own right.