Why the brains of chess players are the epitome of science

U.S.A.Why the brains of chess players are the epitome...

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researcher David Canning will mine the United States Chess Federation database and track the cognitive performance of 200 players (EFE).

As the US population grows, concerns about dementia increase. David Canning, Teacher Richard Saltenstall of Population Science and International Economics and Health Feather Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, is studying aging among chess players, argues that The age-old game serves as a kind of cognitive test.

included in the investigation Analysis of the huge database of games from the United States Chess Federation and another pilot study It will follow 200 players over time. but, Why study chess and cognitive impairment?

“There’s a lot of concern about the aging of the population, and dementia in particular: what it will do to the economy, what it will do to the health system. There are many people who are living longer and over the last century we have had this pressure of morbidity: periods of poor health shorten at the end of life. But now there’s some evidence America during the last 20 years that morbidity is increasing, So that IPeople live longer but do not have healthy years. And one of the great burdens is dementia ”, said canning in dialogue NS Harvard Gazette, official press organ of Harvard.

for the specialistOne problem with studying dementia is that our data sets are small. Because surveying people is difficult and it takes an hour to complete a cognitive test on people.” “Then I realized that We have all these people playing chess that Basically, cognitive tests are done several times a year. This is a huge data set that spans the entire age range; Very few data sets. We have kids and elders playing chess. It has been used in other countries, some have seen world champions and elite players, but no one has used our country’s chess database before,” he continued.

The research includes analysis of the United States Chess Federation's vast database of games and a second pilot study that will follow 200 players over time (Getty Images)
The research includes analysis of the United States Chess Federation’s vast database of games and a second pilot study that will follow 200 players over time (Getty Images)

canning maintains that “It is possible to obtain information about cognition by observing a chess display.” However, note that There is a potential complication, Because mental activity can improve your cognitive performance. “We want to study this as well, although the main evidence is that it is physical activity that really helps improve their cognition. The evidence that mental activity helps is mixed. But It is possible that playing chess prevents cognitive decline. Insisted.

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And he continued: “There’s a Existing Literature on Chess and Cognition About the world champion, Joe It only shows a slow decline with age. Experts also have standard cognitive tests for chess players. and it exists relationship with chess performance and general cognitive abilities, But it’s not incredibly high. Looking at the life cycle patterns of chess skills, there is a lot of work on age effects and cohort effects, but it generally focuses on elite players. And then there’s some literature on whether playing chess is good for knowledge, especially in children.”

However, there is a new aspect of interest to researchers. The relationship between air pollution and cognition. “There A study of measuring air pollution in a chess tournament hall and its effect on the quality of movements. You can measure the quality of each movement in comparison to a computer program and basically When there is air pollution, the quality of movement of people gets reduced. I’m interested to see it and if it affects performance,” he said.

"The quality of movement of people gets reduced due to air pollution.  I'm interested to see and if it affects performance" (EFE)
“The quality of people‘s movement is reduced when there is air pollution. I am interested to see and if it affects performance” (EFE)

Along these lines, experts assure that they have just achieved the results. “I was excited as I first combined the datasets on air pollution and chess. what we find is fine particulate matter, PM 2.5, which It ranges from about 0 to 20 micrograms per cubic meter in the US and over 100 in developing countries. In IndiaRates of 70, 80 or 80 are quite common.10 point change in air pollution (10 points more than your average annual performance) Reduces your chances of winning the game by about 30%.”

“What we want to do in the long-term study is observe a group of chess players over time, Hopefully three to five years, And see how your cognitive ability and ability to play chess change. We can also address the issue of If people stop playing, does it affect cognition? It’s a really good dataset but a lot of people give up, so There are many pitfalls to follow, wear and tear. People stop playing chess after a few years.” Finished.

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