Let's play! Brain training using videogames
Brain training can help you to boost overall mental power and performance. Videogames can further help you to train your brain and become a more focused and engaged person. This is what master student Hanne Karlsen wants to prove in her research.
Who, in his/her right mind, does not like to play videogames? I don’t think everyone likes to play videogames. But a lot of people, teenage boys and girls among them, love to spend their free time, and homework time, playing videogames. A large group in society may think that videogames are bad for people and that they are only waste of time. This notion started to change with the arrival of the Wii and the PlayStation “Move”. The gaming world is moving to another direction: Movement. And what if I told you that videogames also could help you to train your brain and be more engaged and focused on the activities you perform during the day? You would love that, wouldn’t you?
Hanne Karlsen, a master student from Media Technology at HiG, is researching Brain Training in her master thesis. And she is using videogames for this! By using an EEG headset, as the Emotiv Epoc for this research, Hanne is measuring the brain activity of human beings. These measurements might help to discover how to use the brain to perform different tasks like moving an object around the screen of the computer or to move robots around only by using your mind. This may also train your brain for a better performance.
One of the main objectives Hanne has is to “ help people to manage engagement ”. When asked why she uses videogames for this research and why researching this topic she answered that this “ is an interesting topic and it’s an unexplored area. Also, I like videogames ”.
Her experiments are funny and interesting. The first step is to select a videogame among a wide variety of games. When you have selected the game, the next step is to play and learn how to use the game. After some learning of the game, it is time to put the Epoc on your head. Finally it is time to play while your brain activity is being measured. After 15 minutes, the next step is to stay still and relax for 5 minutes so the EEG headset can measure your brain activity. The last part of the experiment is to play the videogame again.
Hanne is hoping to prove that it is possible to link engagement and videogames. The experiments will try to answer if it is possible to detect changes in EEG measures of engagement based on participant training in EEG. If results are positive, they could contribute to the development in understanding how the human brain works in relation to engagement. Hanne is thankful with HiG for all the help they have provided her with equipment such as TV, Playstation 3, Emotiv Epoc headset and a supervisor. “ There are highly qualified people to help you here ”.
Her plan is to continue with her research on this interesting field and, possibly, get into a PhD.
Hanne (firstname.lastname@example.org) has been a Media Technology master student since August 2009, and you can read more about her thesis here .