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Some video games can train working memory, which is 'vital' to lifelong success

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 07 Sep 2009 22:17 User comments (4)

Some video games can train working memory, which is 'vital' to lifelong success According to a new report from psychologist Dr. Tracy Alloway, war video games, as well as the game Sudoku, could possibly enhance "working memory," a vital element for lifelong success.
On the other hand, using Twitter, YouTube or spending prolonged time texting will weaken that same "working memory."

Working memory, by definition, is the brain's ability to retain information and use it. Dr. Alloway is an expert in working memory and has concluded in past studies that it is key to success and happiness, even more so than IQ. During job interviews, explains Alloway, candidates with better working memory, will answer questions in a more "impressive" way.

The conclusion came after Alloway began a working memory training program for "slower" learning middle school children, and says in just eight weeks, the children collectively saw on average a "10 point improvements in IQ, literacy and numeracy tests."

In terms of video games, war games, which normally contain planning and strategy, such as the "Total War" series, says Alloway, will train working memory.

"I'm not saying they're good for your socialization skills, but they do make you use your working memory," she added, via the BBC. "You're keeping track of past actions and mapping the actions you're going to take."

Alloway on why Twitter and YouTube are bad:

"On Twitter you receive an endless stream of information, but it's also very succinct. You don't have to process that information. Your attention-span is being reduced and you're not engaging your brain and improving serve connections."

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4 user comments

18.9.2009 1:51

Funny RTS's(wargames) give my Anger a good work out. when you hear me yelling cursing and smashing stuff rest assured that i just got beat by the Germans yet again(we all know German strategic commanders weren't smart).

28.9.2009 9:50

I have never heard the term 'working memory'. Maybe that is like RAM while IQ maybe clock speed.

I guess I need to play more games.

38.9.2009 16:51

DVDback has been watching 'Bang Goes The Theory' which after mri scans and tests proved inconclusive as to whether it worked or not. But hey I am open minded as to whether this is true or not. Anyway cant do any harm can it? Folks being obsessed spending alot of time training their brain and discover " ten years have got behind you, no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun":P
No am only joking nothing is to bed in moderation eh!!!
Apart from the multi million dollar brain training industry that is being created here. Yes Dr such and such wants to help you but it will cost how much?

414.9.2009 4:08

What this good Doc says is that for example Total War series can be compared to chess, yes i know it sounds stupid but think for a while and you will realize that also.
Actually he could've mention that FPS games improve reaction times and hand coordination, same goes for RTS games also as you need to go fast from one place to the other and click a sertain thing on the screen.
The funny thing is that most of the time people think that games do not educate at all, if you think about all the games out there, there are maybe some 80% that are just pure fun. The 10% are just complete crap and the last 10% are those that can teach different things like, social skills (laugh all you want, for some peple playing Sims can improve social skills), analytic thinking (what i did, when i did, was it a right call?) and coordination/reaction (those who are used for "fast" "movement" and choices in games are usually quicker in doing them in real life)

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