  Chapter 

This study shows the positive effects that videogame training can have on cognitive control abilities of older adults. The results indicate an improvement that puts them on the same level as younger adults who play videogames often (with regards to interference resolution, sustained attention and working memory). There is even transfer to untrained cognitive tasks.

These results provide optimism for using a videogame as a therapeutic tool for the people who suffer from cognitive control deficits.


Introduction

Cognitive control refers to a set of neural processes which allow us to interact with our complex environment in a goal-directed manner. Sometimes humans push their cognitive control to a limit, for instance when they are multitasking. In the current society, people are required to multitask more and more. But when people get older, they become worse at multitasking. This will be confirmed by this research. Participants need to play a videogame so their multitasking performance can be measured. The results indicate a linear age-related decline from twenty to seventy-nine years of age.

Playing the videogame reduced multitasking costs in older adults (sixty to eighty-five years old) and with gains persisting for six months. Also, age-related deficits in neural signatures of cognitive control were remediated by the training. The training caused an increase in performance that extended even to untrained cognitive control abilities (in this case enhanced sustained attention and working memory).

Conclusion

This study shows the positive effects that videogame training can have on cognitive control abilities of older adults. The results indicate an improvement that puts them on the same level as younger adults who play videogames often (with regards to interference resolution, sustained attention and working memory). There is even transfer to untrained cognitive tasks.

These results provide optimism for using a videogame as a therapeutic tool for the people who suffer from cognitive control deficits.

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