A Japanese study released March 4th, which is today here but was actually yesterday in Japan, has found that riding a motorcycle keeps riders’ brains young.
“The (rider’s) brain gets activated by riding motorbikes,” Japanese brain authority Ryuta Kawashima said. “In a convenient and easy environment, the human mind and body get used to setting the hurdle low….Our final conclusion is that riding motorcycles can lead to smart aging.”
So if easy makes you stupid and hard makes you smart, bikers in Los Angeles must be the smartest people in the world.
Kawashima based his conclusion on a study of middle-aged men. He conducted his experiments at Tohoku University with funding from the Yamaha Motor Company.
In one experiment the Japanese researcher put sensitive electronic brain buckets on 21 men and measured their brain activity while they rode. He found that riding a motorcycle stimulated their prefrontal lobes. That area of the human brain is associated with memory, information processing and concentration.
In another test, 22 men with motorcycle endorsements who had not ridden for months were divided into two groups. One group rode motorcycles regularly for two months and the other group did not. At the end of that time the men who rode motorcycles had better memory, better spatial recognition abilities and better concentration.
Bikes better Than Cars
Kawashima said past research showed that the prefrontal area of the brain does not get nearly as much exercise from driving an automobile. “Balancing and other sensitive control functions are required for riding motorcycles,” he said. “Any motorcycle rider’s brain may become more tense in order to process information actively during riding.”
Kawashima, 49, is well known, in certain circles, for his unorthodox approach to brain research. He is best known in this country for designing a computer game called “Brain Training.” The idea of the game is to make old people smarter. Two versions are available for Nintendo in the United States. They are sold under the names Brain Age: Train Your Brain In Minutes A Day and Brain Age Two.
Or, you can steal a motorcycle and try to out run from the police. Your call.
Live to ride. Ride to live.