We're always looking for ways to increase our cognitive abilities. Sadly, that "increase" often comes by way of coffee or 5-Hour Energy drinks these days. Others resort to vitamins or specific diets to aid their brain juice. But Dr. Adam Gazzaley, founding director of the Neuroscience Imaging Center at UCSF, says maybe all we need to do is kick back and play some video games. That's right, folks. Call in sick to work, dim the lights, turn off the smartphone, and get in a nice game session because according to new emerging data, discussed in detail in tonight's "Video Games as Cognitive Enhancers" talk, commercially available video games can improve our cognitive abilities through a phenomenon known as neuroplasticity. As our brains encounter and solve new problems (like the ones video games throw at us), they modify both their structure and function in response to the new experiences. Such skills Gazzaley says can be transferred to different domains. Here's hoping those Call of Duty skills will transfer nicely into the get-a-girlfriend domain.
Mon., Sept. 10, 6 p.m., 2012