Riders, riding a motorbike every day could be keeping you smart and preventing Alzheimers. So says Dr Ryuta Kawashima, author of the Nintendo game Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training. He conducted a study at the University of Tokyo that found riders aged 40-50 had improved levels of cognitive function after riding their bikes daily to work for just two months. Cognitive function includes processing thoughts, memory and speech. His team believes the concentration required to operate a motorcycle’s various controls and even survive the daily rush hour increase brain function.
Compare the complexity of the daily commute on a motorcycle to the levels of concentration required (or at least the levels of concentration most commuters use) in an automatic car. Kawashima says a car is “a comfortable machine which does not activate our brains”.
Dr Kawashima’s study involved riders with an average age of 45 some of whom were regular riders and others who had not ridden in 10 years. They were required to do eight different courses with a variety of challenges while their brain function was recorded. It found the right hemisphere of the prefrontal lobe was activated while riding.
Ok, that’s a bit technical. Basically the right temporal lobe is the problem solver and decision maker. It governs motor behaviour and impulse control. It is also used for making judgements, memory, social behaviour and sexual behaviour.
So there you go, riding as bike is exercising a lot of important areas and may even be good for your libido; who knows!
The study found that not only did the participants’ brains get a daily workout, but their memory improved, their spatial reasoning was boosted and the participants claimed their stress levels decreased. No word on how their sexual behaviour changed.
“By using motorcycles more in our life, we can have positive effects on our brains and minds,” Dr Kawashima says.
Of course, we riders don’t need a study to tell us that our concentration increases when we ride. But it’s good to know it could be prolonging our mental health.
~ Mark Hinchliffen – Motorbike News, 5 Jul, 2013
There you go, riding a motorcycle is good for me 🙂
Riding my bike is training for my brain!