Finnish Doctors Are Prescribing Video Games for ADHD

A physiotherapy patient using a Kinect-based game in treatment. Photo courtesy Serious Games Finland

There’s a problem with the drugs used in mental health care: You have to be on them for them to work. Even then, they can be expensive and have detrimental side effects.
Ville Tapio had an idea to do it better. He runs a private psychiatry center in Helsinki, and psychiatrists had told him they were reluctant in particular to hand out drugs for patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD drugs are psychostimulants, they are frequently abused, and kids can be prescribed them young and kept on a regimen for years.

Tapio’s alternative? Getting people with mental health concerns to play video games. They’re special video games, of course—ones that can change how your brain works, with a technique loosely termed gameified neuroplasticity therapy.

The idea isn’t totally out of the blue. The University of Helsinki is well known for its neuroscience, with researchers already investigating how brain activity changes when people do different things. Scientists there have already tinkered around with game play, checking out local Helsinki production Angry Birds to test why the game was so addictive, and it’s all part of a push by Finnish developers to build games that do good.

But using games to change people’s brains for health reasons is an ambitious and relatively new concept. Still, Helsinki has the scientists and the gaming companies—Angry Birds developer Rovio is just one—to give the idea a proper look. Now, researchers also have cash: Tapio’s company Mental Capital Care received 790,000 euro in funding from Finnish investment board Tekes last year to test out a game designed to cure the symptoms of ADHD.

The new interest in gaming in treatment is fueled partly because brain wave scanning headsets have come down in cost, making it a more realistic option outside the lab. Neurogames work with EEG headsets, which place small electrodes directly on your scalp to measure brain waves. While EEG technology has been around in medicine for ages, only recently have cheaper commercial versions of EEG caps come on the market.

One such EEG cap is the Emotiv, which has become popular with researchers looking to move beyond the restrictions of fMRI brain studies. For one, it’s hard to study the brain’s reactions to natural stimuli when a person is inside an MRI machine. A brain cap, on the other hand, is mobile enough for users to utilize in their daily lives, an advantage researchers hope will help users hack their brains.

Emotiv’s brain-controlled headset was originally designed for regular gaming, but has since found fans in neuro researchers.

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Source: Motherboard


iPhone 5s Users Experiencing ‘Blue Screen Of Death’ Bug [Video]

Apple launched its iPhone 5s just a few weeks ago, although shortly after its release, users of the new iPhone have been reporting a number of issues with the device. We recently heard the motion sensors on the iPhone 5s are slightly out of whack, as well as rumors of the device possibly bending just like the iPhone 5 did when it was first released. A new issue with the iPhone 5s has come up, this time bringing the infamous “Blue Screen of Death” with it.

Yes – you read right. A number of iPhone 5s owners have taken to the Apple support forums to report they have been experiencing the blue screen of death on their devices. The most common method of experiencing the blue screen of death seems to be when iPhone 5s owners use Apple’s suite of iWork applications. One user recorded the instance and published it on YouTube, which we can see the problem seems to come up when attempting to multitask between different iWork applications. Once the iPhone 5s reaches the blue screen of death, the device automatically reboots itself, which could certainly be an issue if your neck deep in an iWork document.

At this time, Apple has yet to make any remarks towards the iPhone 5s’ blue screen of death issue, but we’ll be sure to keep an eye out for any updates regarding it.

Source: Ubergizmo

Now anyone can find you on Facebook


The social network kills off a privacy setting that allowed members to prevent themselves from appearing in search results. Users can still block individual users from seeing their profiles in search.

It may have been a long time coming, but those hidden in plain sight on Facebook are in for a rude awakening in the weeks ahead.

The social network said Thursday that it is, as promised 10 months ago, killing off a privacy setting that allowed members to prevent themselves from appearing in search results. Facebook first put the setting, called “Who can look up your Timeline by name?,” on life support in December of last year, removing it for people who weren’t using it. Now, it’s ready to finish off the job.

Simply put, the setting let people hide their Timelines — aka profiles — from public view. Members could use it to control if they could be found, and by whom, when other people typed their name into the Facebook search bar.

“For the small percentage of people still using the setting, they will see reminders about it being removed in the coming weeks,” Facebook announced in a blog post on the change. “Whether you’ve been using the setting or not, the best way to control what people can find about you on Facebook is to choose who can see the individual things you share.”

Facebook tells the remaining members using a Timeline privacy setting that it has better ways for them to manage their privacy on the social network.

The change is bound to cause some confusion, if not stir up strong emotions. Privacy and Facebook have always had a complicated relationship, and now it’s as if the company is decreeing: if you’re a member, you can be found, and what people find on your Timeline is entirely up to you.

For its part, Facebook will remind people with an on-site notice that when they post something publicly, the post can be seen by anyone, including people they may not know. It should also be noted that Timelines will not be visible to people you’ve blocked.

Facebook’s argument in eliminating the setting is that it gave people a false sense of security. “Our concern, quite frankly, is that people think it provides a level of security, but it actually doesn’t,” Nicky Jackson Colaco, a member of the Facebook Privacy team, said in an interview with CNET in December.

The social network contends that the setting never prevented people from finding Timelines in other ways such as clicking on a name in a status update. Another plausible motivation behind the change is improving the quality of the people results in Graph Search, Facebook’s nascent natural language search engine.

The extra-long warning or the seemingly rational explanation may do little to temper the concerns of those who have clung to the last bit of anonymity they have left on the social network. But ready or not, Facebook search here you come.