According to a study published in the Scientific Journal, virtual reality video games were able to improve long term memory function for older adults. The people who were involved in the study were supposed to take place in 12 hours of VR gaming over the course of 4 weeks. Some of the participants would be playing the game designed to help with hippocampus function, and others were playing a placebo game. The study focused mostly on people in their mid to late 60’s but found that after the VR treatment, they had the long term memory function of a much younger adult.
What does this mean for the future of VR gaming? It looks like VR isn’t just a fun space to play immersive games. VR could actually be a therapeutic exercise that could restore brain health and function. For years, people have been trying to come up with ways to stop the hippocampus from deteriorating over time. This is because the hippocampus helps store memories and a damaged hippocampus can result in life-long illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Does this mean that virtual reality is going to cure these illnesses? Probably not, at least not right away, but it looks like adults are going to be able to use VR as a tool to keep the brain functioning properly for longer.
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