No, this is not a S.P.A.Z. post. Japanese neuroscientist Ryuta Kawashima, who designed “Brain Training” for the Nintendo DS, has determined that riding a motorcycle can improve memory, space recognition and other prefrontal brain functions. That’s a way better excuse to buy a bike than fuel efficiency, right?

You know, our Brooke is a neuroscientist too, and he would say anything Yamaha wanted, if they’ll fill up his garage with Asian-market Zumas, but since Yamaha didn’t come to him first, I imagine he’ll have an interesting opinion on Kawashima’s findings.

(Thanks for the story, Victor!)

2 thoughts on “Brains”

  1. I wish I could find the original paper. But the summary from dealer news is pretty vague. I’d like to see the data between subgroups like the people who used bicycles versus motorcycles and cars versus motorcycles. I don’t think it’s very surprising if one looks at the world from the point of view that we can be engaged or detached to the world around us (as in ‘hot’ or ‘cool’ media described by McLuhan) and this can be reflected in a presence or absence of mental activity. Use it or lose it!

    For more info on the Kawashima lab research:

    Check out that cool university logo

  2. This is never more evident than when someone who isn’t accustomed to using those parts of their brain come in and get their first scooter. The things we see and take for granted are totally new to them. They not only don’t see things, they don’t know how to look for them. It’s why we see so many new riders not seeing the obvious road condition, or traffic hazard the veteran rider will avoid with ease. If you doubt the presence of this condition just go on the WKRP scooter ride. The combination of new riders and folks pulling their dusty bikes and riding skills out for the first time of the year always results in a whole lotta crashes.

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