NC State team to study the game’s effect on the cognition skills of the elderly.
North Carolina State University researchers have received 1.2 million dollars from the National Science Foundation for the funding of a study that involves videogames and the memory and thinking skills of the elderly. The hope is to ultimately createa videogame that stimulates these skills. The research is a two phase operation, with the first part seeing researchers studying the qualities found in recent videogames and how they affect an adult’s cognitive skills (including memory, problem solving, and critical thinking). In phase two, the qualities found in the first phase will be used as a set of guidelines to aid the design of a videogame that will help improve cognitive skills.
The three basic qualities found by researchers in videogames include social interaction, novelty, and attention demand. The research will test men and women over 65 years old using EA’s critically-acclaimed Boom Blox games, titles which present the qualities found during the first phase of the research.
"For example, if we find that novelty and attentional demand improve cognition, we'll then develop a game that focuses on that," assistant psychology professor Dr. Anne McLaughlin said.