Valley News -

By Tony Ault
Staff Writer 

'Brain Games' fun helps The Village Retirement Community residents improve cognitive abilities


Last updated 5/16/2019 at 6pm

It’s not unusual to see children, even those in strollers busily playing or using an iPhone or iPad these days. What may be unusual is to see a group of seniors all sitting around viewing Facebook or other social media, looking up news stories, watching a movie or even video chatting with friends on an iPad.

What turned out to be a challenge to some seniors in their 70s and 80s was an opportunity to not only learn how to use a computer, smartphone or tablet and play video games at The Village Retirement Community in Hemet – all for free.

The opportunity came when neuroscience professor Aaron Seitz from the University of California Riverside’s Brain Game Center for Mental Fitness teamed up with The Village Retirement Community to bring his specialized video game software to a group of seniors living at the retirement community. The first group of 45 residents, according to Michele Ryneal, Village public relations manager, visited with Seitz and his Brain Game Team and learned how to access his “Brain Games” on their own computers, smartphones or tablets.

The residents were not only promised having a lot of fun with the games, but it would help them think more clearly, have improved memory and even more intelligent. Quickly diving into the games and the new technology, the residents went to work trying to win their new video games, just like their sons, daughters and grandchildren might be doing.

Seitz with his team at the Brain Game Center have been developing a multifaceted approach to help seniors change their brains and bring lasting improvement to problematic areas such as sight, memory and hearing loss.

The team met with the village residents in the study last week and continued noting the results of the first months research. The studies with the residents will forward the advancements in neuroscience. Studies such as Seitz’s are continuing to confirm that the human brain’s function is more ductile than previously thought, and this observation is fueling a mental fitness revolution that is poised to take off.

“The mission of UCR’s Brain Game Center is to research, test and disseminate evidence-based, scientifically optimized brain fitness games that yield benefit to real-life activities,” Seitz said in his link to UCR Today. “It’s the only university-based research center focused on the research of brain-training games, with a track record of making tested procedures publicly available so that people can try them out for themselves.”

Since its formation in 2015, the Brain Game Center has been working on several ongoing projects including the most recent Village study. The Village study will be continuing for an undetermined time, Ryneal at the Village said. The Village Retirement Community is located at 2200 W. Acacia Ave. in Hemet and offers retirement living, assisted living and skilled nursing and rehabilitation services. For more information visit

For more information about the UCR Brain Game Center, contact Aaron Seitz at [email protected]

Tony Ault may be reached by email at [email protected]


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