Neuroscientist Says “Prescription Video Games” Should Be Given To Schoolchildren Who Struggle To Focus


A neuroscientist has claimed that school children should be prescribed with video games when they struggle to focus in class.

The Research

A neuroscientist from California University, Adam Gazzaley, has claimed that school children who struggle to focus in class should get a “personalised prescription” of video games in order to boost their school performance.

He said “concentrated doses” of gaming can especially help children with ADD by improving their multi-tasking and their memory.

He said in a summit: “Now some of you might be thinking, and this is just a popular notion of video games, that they’re just another manifestation of human mania – the enduring human quality of just going after something relentlessly, after pointless goals.

“But even consumer level video games…the most controversial due to their high levels of violent content, the first person shooters, have been shown to have a benefit on high cognitive abilities – attention, working memory, task-switching – in the young people that play them.”

“Whether you take them and compare them to people who don’t play them, or compare them to naive young people and have them play these games, you see the effects.”

Gazzaley’s Video Game

Dr.Gazzaley has also designed a video game 2008, called NeuroRacer, and it could soon be used as a treatment for several conditions and diseases, including Alzheimer’s- as he said the game can improve “brain plasticity.” Brain plasticity is the brain’s ability to adapt to new conditions.

“If these [games] could be used to improve the functions of the brain, both as an alternative approach to education as well as a clinical approach to medicine, we could really make a big difference,” he continued.

“What you should be getting is a personalised prescription, whether it be educationally or medically, which is specifically targeted at you depending on how you are presented on day one, and which gradually develop and change with you over time.”

“Using this technology we could create very powerful targeted experiences, and experiences are the gateway to the brain’s plasiticity. You’re playing a game…that leads to performance metrics, which can be recorded by the game engine in real time.”

“We can use this to give real time feedback and to give rewards. We could take new technology and use motion capture…psychological recordings. You could feed all this data into the game engine. We could use virtual and augmented reality to create more real world, more immersive experiences.”

“What we wind up with is a truly integrated, multi-modal, close-looped system. This is the future of using technology to create these powerful targeted and adaptive tools to help improve brain function, for people who are healthy and those that are impaired.”