Radio interview on Science Friday, Adam Gazzaley and Zoran Popovic

Radio interview on Science Friday, a weekly radio show and website covering science, technology and other cool stuff.

For the game Neuroracer:

Adam Gazzaley, an associate professor of neurology, physiology and psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, says he created Neuroracer specifically to “target vulnerability in the brains of older adults in terms of cognitive control, which is the set of skills that allow us to interact in complicated environments.”

The game has two tasks that players have to juggle at the same time: they must try to keep a car on a winding road, using a joystick, while simultaneously responding quickly and accurately to signs that appear on the road.

For Foldit and Nanocrafter:

Zoran Popovic, a professor of computer science and engineering and the director of the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington, designed a game called Foldit to solve a specific problem: discover the shape of a particular protein biochemists wanted to use to create new disease-fighting drugs. Foldit’s innovation was that it invited people from all over the world to actively participate in the scientific process.

“The biggest discovery of Foldit,” Popovic says, “was that it is possible to create expertise on a rapid scale — and it’s collective expertise. None of these discoveries were done by a single person. … What’s fascinating is that not only are people getting better, but they are self-organizing based on their particular propensities and strengths.”

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