"Researchers now say they can predict how well a person will perform playing a videogame by looking directly at their brains.
According to an announcement made Thursday, a recent study found that a look at the signals given off in the basal ganglia region of a human brain can predict with "unprecedented accuracy" how well the subject will perform a complex task.
Participants in the study, who had little prior videogame experience, had an MRI taken of their brains before spending 20 hours playing a University of Illinois-developed videogame called Space Fortress. Using this data, the researchers were able to predict their scores on the game with between 55 and 68 percent accuracy.
The parts of the brain associated with this predictable activity were the caudate nucleus and the putamen, which are active when learning new motor skills and are important in tasks that require quick shifts in attention and strategy. The nucleus accumbens, a region believed to process emotions that result from reward and punishment, was also studied, but it was found to be less reliable than the other two regions."