Playing the Right Type of Video Game Improves Real-world Brain PerformanceLast week, yet another study showing the beneficial impact of playing video games appeared in the news.  Traci Sitzmann, as assistant professor of management at the University of Colorado, Denver, did a meta-analysis of a number of different studies to find out if training workers would improve performance on the job.  Her conclusion:

… [she examined] 65 studies and data from 6,476 trainees and discovered  those using video games had an 11 percent higher factual knowledge level, a 14 percent higher skill-based knowledge level and a 9 percent higher retention rate than trainees in comparison groups.

The initial article appeared in the American Society for Training & Development’s magazine T+D, and the full paper will be published in the journal Personnel Psychology. You can read a summary here.

Dr. Sitzmann highlighted several keys to designing a computer-based game for successful training. The games should do the following:

  • Be interactive, not based on a series of questions and answers
  • Be easily accessible be so they can played as often as needed
  • Be a part of a broader training effort

These principles are related to how Posit Science thinks about our brain training software, BrainHQ.  We improve foundational skills by improving the speed and accuracy of brain processing.  The software is built to provide easy access on the desktop or on-line with no limitations as to the ability to train.  And we think of our program as a piece of a holistic approach to improving brain performance that includes physical exercise, healthy diet, social engagement and brain training.