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The Brain training application improves the concentration of users, the survey shows



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IMAGE: A brain training game for decoding Peak.
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Credit: Peak

A new Brain Training game developed by researchers at Cambridge University, improves consumer concentration, according to new research published today. The scientists behind this endeavor argue that this can provide a welcoming response to the daily interference we encounter in a busy world.

Adam Gazzali and Larry D. Rossen in his book "The Distracted Consciousness: Ancient Brains in the High Tech World" point out that with the emergence of new technologies requiring quick answers to emails and texts and working on several projects simultaneously, young people , including pupils, have more attention and often distract. This difficulty in focusing attention and concentration is aggravated by stress from a global environment that never sleeps and often travels leading to drowsiness and poor sleep quality. Busy all day long, but you are not sure what we actually did, "says Professor Barbara Sakhaian of the Department of Psychiatry. "Most of us spend time responding to emails, looking at text messages, looking for social media, trying to do a lot of tasks, but instead of doing a lot, we sometimes struggle to finish one task and fail to achieve our goal of the day . After that, we go home and even find it difficult to "exclude" and read a book or watch TV without lifting our smartphones. For complicated tasks, we need to go into the stream and stay focused.

In recent years, when smartphones became ubiquitous, there has been a rise in the number of so-called brain training applications that claim to improve cognitive skills such as memory, numeracy, and concentration.

A team from the University of Cambridge University of Behavioral and Clinical Neurology has developed and tested a new game that aims to help consumers improve their focus and concentration. The game is based on the team's own research and is scientifically appreciated.

A study published today in the journal Borders in Behavioral Neurology Professor Saakyan and colleague Dr. George Savulic demonstrated that playing an iPad decoder for eight hours in a month improves attention and concentration. This form of attention activates the frontal-parietal network in the brain.

In their study, the researchers divided 75 healthy young adults into three groups: one group received Decoder, one control group played bingo for the same time period and a second control group did not get a game. Participants in the first two groups were invited to visit eight one-hour sessions for one month during which they played either under a decoder or in bingo under surveillance.

All 75 participants were tested at the beginning of the experiment and after four weeks using the CANTAB Rapid Visual Test (RVP) test. In previous published studies, CANTAB RVP has been shown to be a very sensitive attention / concentration test.

During the test, participants need to find sequence numbers (eg 2-4-6, 3-5-7, 4 -6-8). A white box appears in the center of the screen, whose digits 2 to 9 appear in pseudo-random sequence at a rate of 1

00 digits per minute. Participants are instructed to press the button each time they find a sequence. The duration of the test is approximately five minutes

The results of the study show a significant difference in attention measured by RVP. Those who played Decoder were better than those who played Bingo and those who did not play. The difference in performance is significant and significant as it is comparable to those seen with the use of stimulants such as methylphenidate or nicotine. The first, also known as ritalin, is a common treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

To ensure that the decoder has improved focused attention and concentration without compromising the ability to redirect attention, the researchers also tested the participants' ability to test a path. The performance of the decoder has also improved in this commonly used neuropsychological change test. During this test, participants must first get acquainted with the numbers and then redirect their attention to the letters and then move back to the numbers. Besides, the participants enjoyed playing the game and the motivation remained high during the 8 hours of play.

Professor Saakyan commented, "Many people tell me that they have difficulty focusing their attention, decoder should help them improve their ability to do this, and besides healthy people, we hope the game will be of benefit to patients Attention, including those with ADHD or traumatic brain injury.We plan to begin a study with patients with traumatic brain injury this year

Dr. Savulic added: "Many brain training applications on the market are not supported by stringent scientific evidence. Our evidence base is developed interactively, and the game developer, Tom Piercey, ensures that it is intriguing and fun to play. the level of difficulty corresponds to the individual player and the participants enjoy the challenge of cognitive learning. "

The game is now licensed through Cambridge Enterprise, the technology transfer arm of Cambridge University, to Peak application developer who specializes in brain-based applications for brain training, allowing the decoder to become available for Peak has developed a version of Apple's devices and released the game today as part of Peak Brain Training.Peak Brain Training is available from the App Store for free and Decoder will be available to both free and professional users part of the daily workout The company plans to make the version available for Android devices later this year

"The version of Peak's Decoder is even more challenging than our original test game, so it will allow "With the licensing of our game, we hope it can reach a wide audience that is able to get even more profits from its work over time," says Professor Sahakian. benefit from improving their attention. "

Xavier Louis, Chief Executive Officer CEO of Peak, adds: "In Peak we believe in proofing the approach to the brain This is our second collaboration with Professor Saakyan and her work over the years has shown that playing games can bring significant benefits to the brain.

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The study is funded by the National Institute of Health Studies and the Center for Biomedical Research at the Cambridge University Hospital in Cambridge

Reference

George Savulic, Emily Thorp, Thomas Pierce, Katie Peterson, John D. Picard, Barbara J. Saakyan. Cognitive Enhancements with the new "Decoder" game on iPad. Borders in Behavioral Neuroscience ; 21 January 2019; DOI: 10.3389 / fnbeh.2019.00002

Declaration of Interest

Barbara Sahakian consults Cambridge Cognition and Peak.

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