Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Gaming and marijuana, helping neuroscience out since...forever

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The experience of working in an Intensive Care Unit has taught me some pretty interesting life lessons. The first of which, all those things you see in medical dramas aren’t even close to being realistic. There's no time to run off to the supply room to fornicate with the charge nurse or have an impromptu mental breakdown because nobody appreciates you. Unfortunately there’s simply no time for such nonsense. Also, you don’t shock a person if they ‘flatlined’ or asystole -- unless you want to roast the human body on the medium well side. Don’t let television educate you on all things medical -- let do it.

As of 2015, the brain is the most vital component of our existence that we cannot replace. Despite what Ed Wood wanted everyone to believe, humans haven’t accomplishment the feat of brain transplants. Human heads only, obviously. We’ve already Frankensteined a few animals in our twisted past. Hearts, they’re pretty important too. They make us feel warm and fuzzy while watching Disney movies, but they also pump the very life force into our bodies. However we’ve already nailed the science of replacing and recycling our hearts, and if you’re Dick Cheney there’s no need for you to be empathic towards receiving one.

There is a point to all of this medical talk on your favorite stoned gaming website, so relax -- we're getting to the good part. It's been scientifically proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that marijuana as an immense amount of medicinal properties. From developing appetites and alleviating nausea for patients going through chemotherapy to helping people with multiple sclerosis reduce their muscle spasms -- marijuana is a wonder plant filled with unbound levels of medicine that we haven't even begin to explore yet. Now we have to throw the entire gaming industry in the medicinal category -- and hopefully it will start another #gamergate conspiracy to give trolls something to do in 2015.

Microsoft Research Asia and Seoul Nation University has dove into the potential therapeutic use of gaming technology and are using the Kinect to help stroke victims regain their mobility through a research project called Stroke Recovery. Brains being repaired by video games; the gamification of science is also apparent through Microsoft awarding points to patients that successfully coordinate their body to a certain movement as seen in this clip.

This is absolutely fantastic news for the medical world due to its sheer cost effectiveness. Trust me; a lot of procedures, even the simple ones, are incredibly expensive. Of course it doesn't end there. If it did, this article would be entirely too short.

A group of cognitive neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Dallas want to prescribe you video games like they would medicine. It's an attempt to combat autism through virtual reality that will mimic common social settings and enable the user (player?) to better understand societal cues and comprehend conversations. Interacting with anyone can be a monotonous, therefore it's best to do it in an alternate reality in which the consequences for perceived failure are minimal. At least that's the goal according to Tandra Allen M.D. of the Center for BrainHealth via the Huffington Post.

[Participants] have told me that the training improves their conversation skills and has helped them make friends. Parents of children have expressed that they see their child have a better understanding of quality of relationships following the program (knowing who is a good friend versus a bully). Their child also has the ability to self regulate his/her emotions, instead of becoming overwhelmed and breaking down in a classroom; they can recognize when they become frustrated and handle their emotions in a positive manner.

At Gazzaley Labs, a man known simply as 'Dr. Gazzaley' is working closely with LucasArts to develop games that will track improvements in cognitive functions. Gazzalay Labs will use an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and DTI (diffusion tensor imaging) to make a fully interactive model of person’s brain so they can see fluxations in cerebral activity through Glass Brain.

Basically what we're trying to say is video games and marijuana is a surefire way to good health. You can't go wrong, stoned gamers. Just continue to do what you're doing. The universe will take care of the rest.

Murray Coons

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