Enhancement of Cognitive Index with Computer Game Using Brain Signals and Hormonal Analysis: Randomized Controlled Trial

Document Type : Original Articles


1 PhD in Electronics, Department of Electrical Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran Iran

2 PhD in Neuroscience, Neuroscience Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Neuroscience Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Electrical Engineering, Iran University of Sciences and Technology, Tehran, Iran

5 Associate Professor, Department of Software Engineering, School of Computer Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran

6 PhD, Abadan Faculty of Medicine Sciences, Abadan, Iran



Introduction: Nowadays, computer games play an important role on the cognitive and behavioral health of the community. The purpose of this study is to investigate the short-term effects of Flow Free® on the neurologic characteristics of the players of these games.Materials and Methods: A total of 40 healthy male students aged 20 years and above were randomly divided into the control and experimental groups. All tests were performed before and after the game in experimental group. The tests were performed only once in the control group without participating in the game following watching the game. Saliva samples were collected to measure cortisol and alpha amylase levels. Cognitive tests and electro-encephalography were performed. Data were analyzed using Wilcoxon signed-rank test.Results: There was no significant difference between the groups in demographic characteristics and pre-intervention measures (the same as the experimental group participants without playing the game). The post-tests showed no significant change in the control group. In the experimental group, the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT) results indicated a significant increase in mental health (P ≤ 0.037) and sustained attention (P ≤ 0.046); the changes in the concentration of alpha amylase (P ≤ 0.009) and salivary cortisol (P ≤ 0.01) after the game showed a significant increase compared to the pre-test. Additionally, an increase in the mean surface of the pattern of stress index (P ≤ 0.039) and attention index (P ≤ 0.048) were recorded. The post-test measures in the experimental group were also significantly different from those of the control group.Conclusion: Flow Free®, as a stimulant of the central nervous system (CNS), led to the increased activity of the stress path and changes in brain signals, hence strengthening the cognitive element of attention in the players after the game.


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