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Use the Force….with Mind Reading Video Games May 1, 2007

Posted by edukfun in 9-5-4, add, adhd, aspergers, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, attention training, challenged, children, education, ld, learning disability, play attention, science, Sparks of Genius, video games.

Video game companies are on the move, taking the kind of peak performance technology we use for Cognitive Training here at Sparks of Genius and turning it into enhancements for all kinds of home video games.

Click here for full article.

“Most physical games are really mental games,” said Lee, also chief technology officer at San Jose-based NeuroSky, a 12-employee company founded in 1999. “You must maintain attention at very high levels to succeed. This technology makes toys and video games more lifelike.”

That’s the truth, and that is why we stress all 9 intelligences, including spatial and kinesthetic, instead of just reading and math. Developing those skills goes a long way towards building the cognitive tools needed to maintain attention for any activity.

Toys with even the most basic brain wave-reading technology — scheduled to debut later this year — could boost mental focus and help kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism and mood disorders.

That can be the case, but…

“These techniques are used usually in clinical contexts. The gaming companies are trying to push the envelope,” said Goldberg, author of “The Wisdom Paradox: How Your Mind Can Grow Stronger As Your Brain Grows Older.” “You can use computers to improve the cognitive abilities, but it’s an art.”

We couldn’t agree more! That is why we use a high-tech and high-touch approach in our Cognitive Playground. The children who come to use are usually facing failing grades in many areas. Let’s be blunt: they understand that to their teachers, parents and even other kids, they are a pain in the but and in many ways a failure.

Without a track record of success, the child has no “proof” of their ability to succeed.

Our students are made to feel comfortable and welcome, we stress that this is a fun place to be–even for the people who work here–and we help them build a series of successes. Those successes come in areas where the student is strong, but also in areas where the child has weaknesses.

Nobody can achieve peak performance without a coach.

There are many programs for sale that offer some form of cognitive training at-home, on your personal computer.  We find that they are about as effective as Bo-Flex and all the other at-home, do-it-yourself programs: not very.

Why?  First, the folks who need the training have issues with following a consistent plan.  Second, nobody can achieve peak performance without a coach.  World-champion athletes don’t, and neither does the local high school football team.  So why should we fool ourselves into thinking that we can do it all on our own?

Good luck!

-Allen Dobkin



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