Video Game May Sharpen Adults’ Brain

October 30, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. deteriorating [dih-TEER-ee-uh-reyt-ing] (adj.) – decreasing or worsening
Example: My grandfather’s deteriorating health worries me.

2. multi-task [MUHL-tee-task] (v.) – to do two or more activities at the same time
Example: Having several assignments and chores requires Mika to multi-task.

3. execute [EK-si-kyoot] (v.) – to do an action
Example: The instructor asked the participants to execute the tasks by following the instructions.

4. sustain [suh-STEYN] (v.) – to maintain or to keep something up
Example: Vitamins sustain nutrients for the elderly.

5. immediately [ih-MEE-dee-it-lee] (adv.) – without any interval in time; in an instant
Example: He immediately submitted the exam papers when the test administrator told him to do so.


Read the text below.
Scientists have recently developed a video game that may be able to improve an adult’s short-term memory and long-term focus. 

Deteriorating cognitive abilities are quite natural as humans grow old. However, a recent study showed that the video game NeuroRacer could actually counteract the effects of aging. It is a game that allows a person to multi-task, which can thus improve the neurological capabilities of seniors to the level of those in their 20s.

Twelve 60 to 80-year-old adults participated in the study. Researchers asked these participants to execute tasks, such as manipulating a car on-screen and following the signs displayed. Then, the researchers compared the participants’ performance on the first task with the performance on the second task.

According to the lead author of the study, the participants’ performance dropped by 65 percent when they were asked to multi-task. On the other hand, they only had a 16 percent decrease in performance after the researchers let the participating seniors rehearse for a month. The second result is quite remarkable compared with the 20-year-olds who experienced a drop in performance by 27 percent.

Aside from the said improvements, the participants’ brain also improved its ability to sustain attention, as well as its ability to store knowledge, hold memories, and respond immediately.

The lead author also said that similar benefits may be present in other video games that allow players to focus on a specific target. Currently, new video games for people suffering from attention deficit disorder and depression are in the development process.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think video games can improve one’s mental abilities? Why do you say so?
·         How else do you think video games can affect a person?

Discussion B

·         In your opinion, why are memories important?
·         How do you think people can prevent themselves from losing their memory?


October 30, 2013