About this author
Zack Lynch is author of The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World (St. Martin's Press, July 2009).
He is the founder and executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO) and co-founder of NeuroInsights. He serves on the advisory boards of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies, Science Progress, and SocialText, a social software company. Please send newsworthy items or feedback - to Zack Lynch.
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September 20, 2004

Video Games + Neurofeedback = Better Mental Health

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Posted by Zack Lynch

The convergence of video games and neurofeedback are improving cognitive-processing capabilities across a wide variety of mental illnesses. Two companies leading this market are Epoch Innovation who provides neurogaming tools for dyslexia and CyberLearning Technology who is using neurofeedback-enhanced versions of off-the-shelf videogames like Ratchet & Clank to help children with attention-deficit disorder.

Neurogaming isn't just for kids, adults can benefit from neurofeedback as well. For example, The Wild Divine Project uses (bio) sensors attached to the fingers to monitor skin conductance and heart-rate variability via the computer's USB port.

At the cutting edge of research into the benefits of neurogaming is UCSF's Sophia Vinogradov. Dr. Vinogradov is investigating how computerized training might help people with schizophrenia learn new thinking and problem-solving skills. Her breakthrough work on neuroscience-guided remediation of cognitive deficits in schizophrenia was recently awarded a $1.1M grant from the NIMH.

It seems that ever since Steven Johnson shared how neurofeedback opened up new ways to understand his implicit reactions to daily events, the neurofeedback meme has been growing stronger. As venture capital continues to pour into companies using neurofeedback to improve software productivity and increase financial trading profitability it is important to realize that even these "non-medical efforts" will translate into more effective neurofeedback solutions to treat mental illnesses. This is the neurotechnology industry at work.

Comments (4) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Mental Health Issues


1. Shernay Davis on September 21, 2004 9:59 PM writes...

I am a freshman Biomedical Engineering major, and this was first time on this website. I am proud to say that the career ahead of me creates an excitement within me when I read that such advancements have been made.

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2. NeuroAnon on September 23, 2004 9:03 AM writes...

I'm going to be seriously neuroirritated if you keep on neuroprefixing neuroregular neuroterms with 'neuro'.

Neurogaming. Bah.

You sound like a salesman inventing academic and research fields out of linguistic thin neuroair.

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3. Francesco on September 30, 2004 12:38 PM writes...

what about neuromarketing?

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4. Jeffrey Li on October 14, 2004 11:50 PM writes...

I'm suspicious about this idea.
I think video games are harmful to mental health
if u play them for a long time.
So I feel it's hard to imagine it could cure people.

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