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Brain Exercises in a Social Game

Date: Nov 17 2010 07:28:34 Source: Games.com Views:
KeyWord: Brain Exercises, Social Game

If you like social networks and video games, a new product that mashes the two together could help exercise your brain while keeping it entertained online.

On Wednesday, Posit Science, a company specializing in games that are designed to exercise the brain, introduced Brain Odyssey, a social online game that is meant to help the brains of baby boomers. The company says its site uses "clinically proven" neuroscience research to improve cognitive performance.

The game takes place in a series of virtual cities and encourages users to explore and engage with a number of brain training exercises while plodding through a series of challenges online.

Dr. Michael Merzenich, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Posit Science, said in a telephone interview that the company had taken years of research associated with the brain, video games and technology and applied it to this online world.

Citing past research, Dr. Merzenich said that playing the game could help exercise areas of the brain associated with memory retention, and improve the speed and accuracy of the brain's ability to process visuals.

Steven Aldrich, president and chief executive of Posit Science, said the site incorporated neuroscience research that the company used in past products, like memory and word games. Mr. Aldrich cited a recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society which found that the company's brain-training software can reduce car crash risk by up to 50 percent in older adults.

"We think there's a great opportunity here to create a social game that is fun to play while keeping the brain active," Mr. Aldrich said. "People who are older want a purpose when interacting with games, and Brain Odyssey does this."

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