To help figure out how the brain works, a team of neuroscientists have created a mobile game called The Great Brain Experiment. It’s free and available now for experimentation.
The brain is the most complex organ in the human body and scientists want to know more about it. That’s why they want people to play a videogame. Science sure is fun!
As part of Brain Awareness Week 2013, researcher Rick Adams and his team of neuroscientists from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL have developed The Great Brain Experiment. According to Trust’s Think blog, it’s a free mobile app for iOS and Android that consists of “four neuroscience experiments” – or in more fun-sounding terms, “arcade games” – that each look at different aspects of brain function including “how good we are at stopping ourselves from doing something, how good our short term memory is, how quickly we can take in visual objects, whether we prefer to take risks or stay safe, and how these choices affect our happiness.”
One of the goals of the experiment is to help better understand and find treatment for conditions/disorders that are associated with the aforementioned aspects of brain function. For instance, the “stopping ourselves” game measures impulsivity, and in extreme cases, there are some people that have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Additionally, Think notes that impulsivity may also be linked to drug addiction as well.
The data collected for TGBE is based on a player’s score, which can be compared to others and is anonymously sent for further analysis to see how the brain functions. “If you and thousands of others play these games, we will get a lot of data,” writes Adams [Note: bold is his, not mine]. “We can then ask questions about how different kinds of people perform: do older people make less risky decisions? Do younger people care more if they lose? Are men more impulsive than women? Does more education mean more short term memory?”
I don’t know, but let’s help these smart folks find the answers by playing the game! (Who says videogames are a waste of time?).