Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Video Games May Lead To Better Health Through New NASA Technology

Date:
August 15, 2000
Source:
NASA/Langley Research Center
Summary:
For decades doctors have used biofeedback as a way to help control stress and tension. Now NASA technology adds a new twist by combining this mind-over-matter technique with the hand-eye coordination of video games.

For decades doctors have used biofeedback as a way to help control stress and tension. Now NASA technology adds a new twist by combining this mind-over-matter technique with the hand-eye coordination of video games.

Related Articles


According to researchers at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., the results may actually improve and protect a player's mental and physical health.

This unique interactive system, tested at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) in Norfolk, Va., trains people to change their brainwave activity or other physiological functions while playing popular off-the-shelf video games. This is accomplished by making the video game respond to the activity of the player's body and brain.

"Thirty years of biofeedback research has shown that by training specific brainwave changes, or reductions in other abnormal physiological signals, people can achieve a wide variety of health-enhancing outcomes," said Dr. Olafur Palsson, assistant professor of psychiatry and family medicine at EVMS. "With this new technology, we have found a way to package this training in an enjoyable and inherently motivating activity."

Signals from sensors attached to the player's head and body are fed through a signal-processing unit to a video game joystick or other control device. As the player's brainwaves come closer to an optimal, stress-free pattern, the video game's joystick becomes easier to control. This encourages the player to produce these patterns or signals to succeed at the game.

In this way, recreational video games have the potential to help both children and adults with a variety of health problems -- from concentration difficulties to physical stress.

Unlike earlier biofeedback methods, which tended to be monotonous and simplistic, this technology adapts to today's most popular games, giving players a healthful side effect, while fully preserving the high-tech entertainment value.

"This technology is a spin-off of NASA research where we measure the brain activity of pilots in flight simulators," added co-inventor Alan Pope, Ph.D., of Langley's Crew/Vehicle Integration Branch. "Flight simulators are essentially very sophisticated video games." Pope is an adjunct research assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at EVMS.

In addition, in what could be called a "spin-back" application, NASA is studying ways to use the technology for pilot training.

Early results from a video game biofeedback study suggest that the technology is effective. In this first test, to be completed this fall, the technology is being applied as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children with ADHD, between the ages of 9 and 14, either play popular video games or receive more traditional brainwave biofeedback treatment. Both forms of treatment help the children's symptoms, but the video game treatment seems to have distinct advantages.

"The main difference we see between the groups so far is in motivation -- the children in the video game group enjoy the sessions more and it is easier for the parents to get them to come to our clinic," said Dr. Palsson, principal investigator in the study and co-inventor of the technology.

"This technology could be in homes all over the country within the next two or three years," according to David Shannon of Langley's commercialization office. "Several companies have applied for a license to produce training systems for the general public."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Langley Research Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Langley Research Center. "Video Games May Lead To Better Health Through New NASA Technology." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 August 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000811060630.htm>.
NASA/Langley Research Center. (2000, August 15). Video Games May Lead To Better Health Through New NASA Technology. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000811060630.htm
NASA/Langley Research Center. "Video Games May Lead To Better Health Through New NASA Technology." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000811060630.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) — Microsoft's Q3 earnings showed its tablets and cloud services are really hitting their stride. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Apps to Organize Your Life

The Best Apps to Organize Your Life

Buzz60 (Oct. 23, 2014) — Need help organizing your bills, schedules and other things? Ko Im (@konakafe) has the best apps to help you stay on top of it all! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nike And Apple Team Up To Create Wearable ... Something

Nike And Apple Team Up To Create Wearable ... Something

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) — For those looking for wearable tech that's significantly less nerdy than Google Glass, Nike CEO Mark Parker says don't worry, It's on the way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins