Posts tagged ‘Mental Health’

Game Playing and Asperger’s

“Skewed coverage of academic report in the Dire Mail (sorry, Daily Mail) : Computer game addicts warned they could start behaving like autism sufferers. Of course the report warns no such thing, as discussed here at Spong: Daily Mail muddles cause and effect .”

Author: Daniel Livingstone, Learning Games Blog, 8th April 2008

Full article available here.


April 10, 2008 at 5:51 pm Leave a comment

Brain Teaser Puzzle Games – Happy Neuron

Scientific research shows that to stay fit and at the top of our game, our brains need exercise just like our bodies.

Happy Neuron logo

Happy Neuron online brain games are scientifically-developed to stimulate your brain in a challenging and fun way, keeping your mind fit at any age.

Happy Neuron CEO and cognitive psychologist, Dr. Michel Noir, designed these games to specifically target the five major cognitive functions of memory, attention, language, executive functions and visual/spatial. Increasing scientific evidence shows that actively participating in appropriately designed brain fitness workouts can help defer the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Based on personal progress, Happy Neuron ensures individuals are making the most of their mind workouts. A personalized “virtual coach” prepares personal brain workouts based on player usage and performance. In addition to comparisons to the top 25 percent of players, users will see how they are performing in relation to the average score of their peers. The unique coach feature gauges mental achievement levels and progression based on other players of the same gender, age and education level. Each player is given insight into areas of cognitive strength and weakness and personal progress is charted for each function.


· Memory working memory (15 sec.), short-term memory (up to 60 sec.) and long-term memory

· Attention – hones the ability to concentrate and focus on critical information

· Language exercises speed, strength and comprehension of verbal and written expression

· Executive Functions – strengthens the highly complex functions of logic, strategy, planning, problem solving and deductive reasoning

· Visual and Spatial –processing information in a 3-D world and interpreting visual information


· Offers 32 different online games and more than 1500 hours of game play – including unlimited access to one free game in each cognitive category

· Easy access – players can log in from any computer with internet access

· A “Virtual Coach” to track progress and compare results to other players of similar gender, age and education levels. Games are then recommended to improve an individuals’ area of weakness.

Happy Neuron game screenshot

Happy Neuron games are available now at

April 2, 2008 at 4:36 pm Leave a comment

Brain Health Lifestyle #1

Mental Activity 

By now you are well aware of the importance and power of “brain reserve,” the buildup of protective neuronal connections across the lifespan. Brain reserve is one outcome of brain health and is believed to be able to delay the onset of neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). I have proposed a five factor brain health lifestyle that includes Socialization, Physical Activity, Mental Stimulation, Nutrition, and Spirituality. Each of these major factors is critical to the health of everyone. As an integrated and proactive lifestyle, the activities and behaviors within each factor can help to shape a healthy brain, beyond what is generated from a passive brain.Mental Stimulation is one of the major brain health lifestyle factors. Most people think of the brain as a cognitive or thinking system. While this is certainly true, your brain is far more than simply a thinking system. Your brain is responsible for your emotions, movement, sense of well being, imagination, creative and artistic side and so much more. The brain as a thinking system is certainly well accepted and deservingly so.Research has underscored particular activities that reduce the risk of dementia (brain healthy) and fit well into the mental stimulation slice of my brain health lifestyle. These include:

  • Reading and writing
  • Learning a second language
  • Sign Language
  • Travel
  • Board Game Playing
  • Computerized Brain Exercises
  • Puzzles
  • Musical instrument playing

Obviously, FitBrains provides an important tool and resource for you to stimulate your brain on an ongoing basis. The key element to making mental stimulation a brain health activity is to engage in the “novel and complex.” Tasks that represent the novel and complex for you probably will stimulate your cortex and lead to the development of new neural connections. This is what leads to the buildup of brain reserve. In this scenario, mental stimulation using activities such as FitBrains can be considered a health promoting activity, and one that should be included in a proactive brain health lifestyle.


February 25, 2008 at 1:41 pm Leave a comment


The purpose of this blog is to provide insight into the impact of computer games and pop culture, and effective ways of incorporating the positive surplus into learning experiences.

Please feel free to add comments and email me with any queries. I am also interested in relevant project collaboration.

Name: Alexandra Matthews
Location: UK

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