Father figure

First they tell us turmeric in food is good for your health. Now they tell us speaking more than one language protects against senility. By the time they tell us oversized, gold-rimmed aviator glasses are better than Viagra, we’ll all have turned into our fathers:

Researchers are finding that bilingualism — be it in French, Greek, Portuguese or Hindi — has lifelong benefits.

“Does bilingualism protect you from cognitive decline? Every study we’ve done suggests that it does,” Prof. Bialystok said… while both groups started showing cognitive decline by age 60, the rate of slowing for bilinguals was much slower…

Brain-imaging research released this week shows that the physical inability to silence mental noise is key in making the elderly prone to distraction and poor multitaskers… the elderly lose the ability to power up brain regions, such as the frontal lobe, needed to focus on a task, and to turn down activity in inner brain regions that are most active when a person is in idle or default mode.

In contrast, the brain images of people between ages 20 and 30 displayed a far more dramatic see-saw effect activating and de-activating regions as they shifted out of idle to task. The study found this pattern begins to dull in middle age and actually results in cognitive deficits beyond age 60. [Link]

Researchers say the only thing better than Dad is Gamer Dad, so fire up a Ramayana game and start swinging that priapic mace:

A new study of 100 university undergraduates in Toronto has found that video gamers consistently outperform their non-playing peers in a series of tricky mental tests. If they also happened to be bilingual, they were unbeatable. [Link]

In 2000, a video game based on the Ramayana legend won Thailand’s national game software competition… The prize-winning game portrays several wars between King Rama and Ravana… Rama and Laksman must successfully manoeuvre through four rounds of fight in order to rescue Sita.

The Thai threesome turned to the epic Ramakien, as the Thai version is called, for its unmatched fighting scenes and more than fifty interesting human and semi-human characters… [Link]

Related posts: My Thais, Haldi may help prevent Alzheimer’s

7 thoughts on “Father figure

  1. damn.. and i used to make fun of my baby brother who was hooked on nintendo,sega,playstation,and all that hoopla.. dammit he’s the best street fighter 2 player out there…. i know there was something more to gyromite and duck hunt ;) … well at least i know more languages than him.. hmm.. now with that in mind.. who will have less of a cognitive decline? huh?

  2. video gamers consistently outperform their non-playing peers in a series of tricky mental tests. If they also happened to be bilingual, they were unbeatable.

    People who play computer games have better spatial skills to begin with – that’s why they enjoy playing games. So it really does depend on what kind of ‘tricky mental tests’ the subjects were asked to perform. If it involved rotating shapes and objects in their heads then of course the gamers would be better.

  3. OMGWTF PWN3D?!

    They should seriously make a Ramayana game, except styled after either the Dead or Alive series or the Dynasty Warriors series.

    Now, that’d be interesting…