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After the horrific shooting sprees at Columbine High School in 1999 and Virginia Tech in 2007, players of violent video games, such as First Person Shooter (FPS) games, have often been accused in the media of being impulsive, antisocial, or aggressive. However, the question is: do First Person Shooter games also have positive effects for our mental processes? Indeed, the new generations of FPS (compared to strategic) games are not just about pressing a button at the right moment but require the players to develop an adaptive mindset to rapidly react and monitor fast moving visual and auditory stimuli. Our terms: We reserve the right to edit or delete any comment, so please post thoughtfully.
Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks. One of the hottest ideas in the tech world now is the quantified self — the concept of monitoring oneself, recording the data, and using it for self-improvement.
Few people would argue against becoming a bit smarter, which is what Lumosity aims to help us do.
Lumosity takes your input and develops a daily training program, which it recommends that you go through 3–5 days a week. Each test comprises a series of timed challenges, the goal being to complete as many as possible.
After completing each test, you’re given a score, which is used to calculate your Brain Performance Index (BPI), an overall assessment of brain performance.
Training takes only a few minutes, and you can set alerts to remind you of specific days and times to train.
In fact, the evidence seems to indicate that these games make you better only at the game itself, not at broader cognitive function. Still, while it’s inconclusive that these games can actively make you more intelligent, there’s no indication that they do any harm.
Sadly, I don't think Color Match will be playable for many with color blindness, due to how the game is constructed.
The upcoming Star Trek sequel has many trekkies, myself included, wondering what will be in store for us come 2013. The ripple effect from Vulcan’s destruction will play a part, as well as the crew’s uncertainty with each other. There were talks of bringing Harry Mudd into the movie, but he would only be a side character and not a major villain.  Maybe the will bring in Kirk’s academy friend turned psionic fiend, Gary Mitchell.
The one issue I have is that if they bring a villain from Star Trek’s past…or future, I hope to hell that it is not Khan. Yeah, not gonna happen even though the Millennium Falcon has made a very brief appearance in Star Trek: First Contact and R2-D2 had an appearance in the latest movie. At the University of Leiden, we investigated whether gaming could be a fast and easy way to improve your memory.


Lorenza Colzato and her fellow researchers compared, on a task related to working memory, people who played at least five hours weekly with people who never played video games. They suggest that video game experience trains your brain to become more flexible in the updating and monitoring of new information enhancing the memory capacity of the gamers. Please check your email for a link that, when clicked, will verify that you're a real person and cause your comment to appear immediately. We use your email address only to send you a one-time verification message confirming that you posted this comment. This has been applied mostly to personal fitness, with gadgets like the Fitbit (no relation to TidBITS, as you can tell by the capitalization) that track your fitness, what you eat, and even how well you sleep. The company was founded in 2005 for neuroscience research and development of brain training technologies. Without a $79.99 annual subscription, you’re restricted to a limited set of tests per day, which are rotated every day. There’s Speed Match, which presents a series of colored shapes, and, for each one, you have to decide if it’s identical or different from the last.
The company says it works with researchers from Columbia University and the University of California, Berkley, and its Web site links to a number of peer-reviewed papers. And many of the games included in Lumosity are some of the same tasks we assign to schoolchildren, such as shape matching and arithmetic repetition.
Some studies, such as one from the University of Iowa’s Federic Wolinsky, have shown that brain training games can slow mental decay in older people. How about a game where you’re presented with a paragraph or sentence and you have to find the typo or grammatical mistake? It’s certainly worth a download, though I won’t be spending $79.99 per year for full access.
My gut feeling is that brain training can provide benefits for the elderly in particular, in slowing or preventing the kind of declines that seem otherwise inevitable in today's society (whether or not they're biologically inevitable would seem to be a different question).
By using time travel and destroying the entire timeline and everything that occurred after Star Trek: Enterprise, JJ Abrams, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman can do as they please. I was really looking forward to seeing Spock with a beard (and all female officers wearing skimpy uniforms that show off the midriff!). At this point in the universe, the Federation and the Klingon Empire aren’t too friendly and the Khitomer Accords have not been signed to establish peace between the two powers. In Color Match, you’re presented with two words, each a color, and you have to decide if the word on top matches the text color of the bottom word. The entire app is well designed, with a friendly interface, bright colors, and tasteful fonts.
Plus, Lumosity has founded the Human Cognition Project, an ambitious effort to work with scientists, doctors, and teachers to advance neuroscience.


Hambrick, associate professor of psychology at Michigan State University told SmartPlanet “There’s been all this focus on brain training and cognitive training.
Adrian Owen performed a test of 11,000 subjects over 6 weeks and determined that while the subjects improved at the specific tasks the test game presented, they did not seem to improve in other areas. But as the journal article we referenced above noted, there's clearly a lot of variability in what's considered "brain training" and the results could vary widely. This lesson plan goes over teaching basic brain anatomy and includes different activities that can be done in the classroom. Unfortunately, the use of the Guardian of Forever is out of the question since time travel has been used. Not to mention that there were deleted Klingon scenes from Star Trek that didn’t make it into the theatrical cut of the film. While the app has been available on iPhone since 2010, it was recently updated with a flat design and a new iPad version. The subscription also unlocks other nice features, like tracking your progress over time and the capability to compare your scores against other players.
Chalkboard Challenge presents you with two numbers or math formulas, and you have to decide which is larger, or if they’re equal.
The free daily content should be sufficient to keep most players satisfied, at least until solid data showing mental improvements should appear. But with an aging population, I imagine we'll be seeing an increased level of research in this field. That could be why some people like Star Wars over Star Trek because they think Star Trek is all talk and Star Wars is all lightsaber battles. And of course, as Josh says, it's hard to see any harm in it, other than perhaps a waste of time. Kirk never served aboard the Farragut as a lieutenant,and he didn’t lose his captain to the Dikironium cloud creature. Spock never had a certain loyalty to Christopher Pike, and they did not make the trip to the forbidden planet of Talos IV to which Pike would have been taken to after his exposure to delta radiation that would leave him a vegetable. Not happening this time.  Starfleet had lost a good number of ships at the hands of 24thcentury technology and to make matters worse, there are two Spocks. Richard Ridderinkhof in Frontiers of Human Neuroscience, results of such studies “are neither robust nor consistent,” and they suggest a series of elements that may offer more successful outcomes.



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