Computer Game Proven to Improve Kids’ Mental Function and Attention Span
The new ifocus computer game, launching next week for children ages 6 to 12 to improve attention, concentration and memory, has been endorsed by top brain imaging specialist Daniel Amen, MD, CEO and medical director of Amen Clinics, Inc., a world leader in applying brain imaging science to clinical practice. A Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Amen serves as Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine where he teaches brain imaging in clinical practice.
According to Dr. Amen, "ifocus was developed in a thoughtful way to actually enhance brain development, and we have clinical evidence to prove that it does exactly that. We conducted a very sophisticated neuropsychological assessment of a large group of children before and after they played the game, and analyzed their attention and impulse control. It was very exciting to actually see significant improvement in their scores.
"As a child psychiatrist, I believe if you can help a child regulate their emotions, they will be much happier in their lives. Self-regulation is critical to focus because if you can control your own attention, you can stay on track and accomplish what you need to accomplish for long-term success, despite the many distractions that all of us face today," he said.
The centerpiece of ifocus is Jungle Rangers, a fun computer game that improves mental function through the repeated, structured practice of tasks that challenge kids in an enjoyable and motivating manner. While playing different types of games along the path to becoming a "Jungle Ranger", children are actually performing cognitive brain exercises to improve their focus, attention, and memory. In addition to the Jungle Rangers game, ifocus emphasizes a holistic approach with parents' handbooks, CDs, and Quick Start cards to explain how behavior, exercise and nutrition can impact children's focus and attention. ifocus was developed under the leadership of some of the world's top scientists in pediatric neuropsychology and physiology. The product is being marketed directly to consumers via television, radio, and online.
"I have four children and five grandchildren, and frequently tell them how important it is to ensure that they have many options in life by taking care of their brains and bodies whether it's the food they eat, the kids they play with, or the video games they play. With ifocus, we have found specific, clinical evidence that it helps children with two of the most critical important keys to success, self-regulation, and emotion," said Dr. Amen.
Focus Education Co-Founder and CEO Michael Apstein explained that the game's animation and storyline keeps kids interested and challenged while they are actually engaging in brain process stimulation using integrated neuro-technology. Research has shown that improvements in the cognitive process can help children overcome distractions, attain more effective levels of concentration, improve memory and decrease frustration during problem solving.
Parents are able to monitor their children's progress using the Jungle Rangers Dashboard which provides a personalized report card on the amount of time spent on each task within the game, as well as which tasks the child excels at and which ones need additional practice. The best indicators, however, are the significant changes that parents experience including fewer calls from school, better grades and an easier, more organized home life.
The ifocus development team recommends that a child play Jungle Rangers 30 minutes a day five days a week for six weeks in order to experience improvement in the ability to absorb, store and manipulate information without distractions. Just like a bad habit that is formed over time, so too are good habits such as the cognitive skills developed by children who play the game consistently.
"We believe so strongly in our product that our Parent-to-Parent Promise allows consumers to return ifocus with a full 100 percent money back guarantee for six months if they don't see the results we've promised. Besides the changes they'll see in their children in just a couple of weeks, with our game dashboard parents will see visual proof of a child's improvement in focus and attention," said Apstein.
Based in Los Angeles, Focus Education is a collaboration of scientists, researchers and doctors who share a common vision: to use the best of science and technology to help children achieve their greatest potential. The company was founded by Michael Apstein and John Able, two business professionals and dads who are committed to bringing the most up-to-date tools and resources to other parents to help children succeed.