“Brain Age” and its recently released sequel are hugely popular video games in Japan and the US. What’s unusual about this is that the games are made for and marketed to “older people” (which in video game language means “anyone over 25”) as a way to improve your mental acuity by keeping your cognitive skills at peak levels. Does any of it work, or is it just a self-help fad for the 21st century? Sharpbrains.com interviews Go Hirano, a Japanese entrepreneur (their description, not ours) who provides a general overview of the current state of “brain training” and its borderline-scientific underpinnings.
Our favorite neuroscience blog, Mind Hacks rebuffs a profound philosophical question: does unthinkingly opting to super-size your small popcorn disprove the concept of freewill, thus making you a soulless automoton? After all, if you decide you want a medium instead of a large, then pay thirty-five cents more to Super-Size that transaction, doesn’t that mean you’re a philosophical zombie?
Mind Hacks, following its theme on the neurological implications of marketing and advertising, have their first post-up, in which they skeptically examine claims that flashes of electricity in the brain can easily be utilized to create successful advertisements:
If you are wondering if the $2 million dollars advertisers paid per Super Bowl Commercial was money well spent, the New Scientist has an article up about a team of California neuroscientists who scanned the brains of five Super Bowl viewers to discover which parts of their cerebellum fired up during the commercials.
One of my favorite neuroscience blogs, Mind Hacks, is posing an open question on the nature of advertising to their readers. They are looking to fill next month with posts examining whether or not advertising is a science and the psychological implications and effects it has on the clump of electrically-charged gray noodles coagulating in our heads.