The scientist who invented "Brain Age," a popular mental training game for the Nintendo DS, has discovered that riding motorcycles can improve cognitive function. Ryuta Kawashima partnered with Yamaha Japan and Tohoku University to study the effects of motorcycle riding on middle-aged men, finding, "In a convenient and easy environment, the human mind and body get used to setting the hurdle low. Our final conclusion is that riding motorcycles can lead to smart ageing."
22 men in their 40s and 50s who had motorcycle licenses but had not
ridden for at least a decade were used for the study. Half were made to
ride a motorcycle everyday for two months, while the other half were
forbidden to. The two groups were given a series of tests before and
after that period. "The group that rode motorbikes posted higher marks
in cognitive function tests," Kawashima said.
One test had the group attempt to remember a set of numbers in reverse
order. The motorcyclists improved their scores by more than 50% after
the two months while the non-riders' scores decreased marginally. The
motorcyclists also reported making fewer mistakes at work and generally
Because riding a motorcycle requires a high level of alertness and
rapid problem solving, Kawashima found, "the driver's brain gets
activated by riding motorbikes." He went on to conclude, "Mental care
is a very big issue in modern society. I think we made an interesting
stir here as data showed you can improve your mental condition simply
by using motorbikes to commute."
via Yahoo! News