A psychology expert from the University of Memphis, Dr Rick Dale, has been using the Wii in his latest experiments. No, not to help senior citizens stay active
or to help those in physical therapy
, but to study the relationship between the mind and the body.
"We often begin to act before we think, even when making relatively simple decisions," Dale said. "Some might say that we even think through our actions." Using the Wii in a variety of different experiments helps him to map how our brains handle thinking and action, and that the two are apparently intertwined.
In another experiment, Dale found that participants had a 'bias toward truth,' meaning that those involved had a natural tendency to think what they were presented with was truth. In this experiment, those involved would use the Wiimote to determine if a statement was true or false. Before making up their mind, those involved in the experiment tended to float towards each statement being true, before making up their mind and choosing their answer. This proved that the body of the participant was in motion before the cognitive process was finished, as well as showing that each individual wanted to believe each statement was true, even if they later decided that the statement was not.
Might not be the most exciting stuff to us without years and years of education, but it's good to see that folks in the medical field are taking the console seriously and understanding that it can do some good beyond letting you and Mario run around some globes in space for a few hours.