Body Brain Trainer: Redefining How We Exercise

At the Neuroscape lab at UC San Francisco, exercise of the future is being developed. Dr. Adam Gazzaley, MD with a doctorate in neuroscience, is creating an interactive method of keeping both body and mind fit. The Body Brain Trainer is a game, more or less; but with a difference. It simultaneously enhances both cognitive and physical fitness. According to the research as Neuroscape, the best way to keep the aging brain active isn’t through drugs; it’s through experience.

So how does it work? Using Microsoft’s Kinect technology, the position of players is tracked. No controller or hardware is necessary. They are shown different figures on a screen, before being asked to choose one by moving their body. This fast paced exercise is simple, however the combination of the physical and the cognitive supposedly enhances the fitness and performance in both aspects; providing many more benefits than just sole exercise, or a simple brain trainer computer game.

Body Brain Trainer used closed-loop feedback software means the better you do, the harder the game becomes. That means that players are made to focus deeply, making the right choices under pressure, hence exercising the brain and keeping your their cognition in a healthy state. In terms of physicality, this also gets pushed to the limits. Players must run on the spot to keep their heart rate consistent, which increases as the player becomes better.

Such smart technology will mean a great deal for overall, holistic health; both physically and cognitively. And what’s more – it doesn’t look like it’s going to be too long until this technology is available to us all.

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