Research Digest – June 2020

Author: Gabriel Qi

Continuing the self-care theme in the previous issue, I introduce a study on video game
training and cognitive enhancement in older adults. I also present another article on the
potential influence of COVID-19 on neuropsychological outcomes in children.

Toril, Reales, and Ballesteros (2014) conducted a meta-analysis on research studies
examining the relationship between video games and cognitive functioning. The 20
studies included in the meta-analysis consisted of 474 trained and 439 healthy older
controls. The results indicated that video game training produces positive effects on
several cognitive functions, including reaction time (RT), attention, memory, and global
cognition. Interestingly, further analyses revealed that the effect size was larger when
the training duration was short (1-6 weeks) than long (7-12 weeks). The researchers posited
that shorter training duration may have helped to maintain motivations. The effect size
was also larger among the older group (71-80 years of age) than the relatively younger
group (60-70 years of age), possibly because the former had a lower baseline level of
functioning and larger improvement. This might be an interesting recommendation to
give to your patients, and could also be a justification or motivation to do a little video
gaming aside from work. By the way, it is probably applicable cross-culturally. I am
sharing the link to the story of the oldest videogame YouTuber, Hamako Mori (Japan, b.
18 February 1930) aka Gamer Grandma, who is 90 years old, in Matsudo, Chiba,

For the second article, Condie (2020) gave an update on the current knowledge about
the neurotropic mechanisms in COVID-19. She gave information concerning the likely
impact of COVID-19 on children and provided recommendations for some initial updates
in neuropsychology practice. Hopefully this will provide some additional information to
the pediatric providers on our listserv.

Food for thought this month:

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your neuropsychology practice and/or
training? What are some support resources you found helpful?

Here are the links to access the articles this month:




• Condie, L. O. (2020): Neurotropic mechanisms in COVID-19 and their potential
influence on neuropsychological outcomes in children, Child Neuropsychology,
• Toril, P., Reales, J. M., & Ballesteros, S. (2014). Video game training enhances
cognition of older adults: a meta-analytic study. Psychology and aging, 29, 706