Reading - Computer Games May Aid Mamory

Computer games are part of our lives. Regardless of your age, you can find a computer game adapted to your needs. Young, old, man, woman... there is a game for every need. Even retired people are now getting into the world of computer games with the promise of improving their brain functions.


There is no cure or vaccine that fights the effects of old age and the brain. As we grow older, our minds become less sharp and open to new situations. It's a fact of aging, like getting wrinkles and grey hair. Yet some scientists, websites, and health gurus have begun to point to video games as a way to keep the brain young. They view the brain as a muscle and the games as a mental workout.

Of course, most agree that the type of video game is important. Experts theorize that strategy, memory, and problem-solving skills must be used in the games. These likely have the greatest effect on the brain. In addition, these activities are readily applicable in the real world, and so translate to immediate and tangible benefits. Some small studies have indicated that older brains, with the right training, can reach the same level of working memory, attention, and the ability to react to new stimuli as much younger brains.

Skeptics argue that video games don't reverse aging and the brain. The games may be fun to play. They may be a good way to relax. But there the benefits stop. People who play these games just become better players, but there aren't any real-world benefits. For example, memory doesn't improve from games requiring memory skills. Multi-tasking doesn't improve from games that have players performing many different, seemingly unrelated tasks.

Although clear proof remains unavailable, millions of dollars have been raised for research. More has been raised by game companies. As society ages in many of the world's developed countries, maintaining the appearance of youth has become big business. Unfortunately, memory-based computer games may just be another sales strategy. Only time and more studies will tell.

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After reading the text, decide if the statements below are true or false.

Some scientists compare brain development to physical exercise.

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It is generally understood that, as long as you are playing, your brain functions develop.

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It is important to work on skills that we can apply in everyday life.

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The benefits of videogames on the brain have been scientifically proven.

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A lot of money has been invested in researching the effects of videogames on the brain.

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Now, read the text again.  Look at the words highlighted in red and TRY TO GUESS THEIR MEANING IN CONTEXT, WITHOUT USING THE DICTIONARY. Think of a synonym that could replace the word. Then, use the dictionary to see if your guess was correct.