We’re back with another tennis game – Tennis Bowling! Now, it might sound weird, but stay with us here. The game isn’t just a blast, it will make you exercise some crucial cognitive functions.
Let’s take a closer look at how to play the game and how each brain ability is important and ties to Tennis Bowling.
How To Play Tennis Bowling
If you’ve ever played any of the other CogniFit tennis games, you’ll notice the court is very much the same. The up/down/left/right arrow keys will also control your racquet movements (which connect to the highlighted target on the other side of the court). You’ll also have a limit of 3 balls to complete each level.
But that’s where the similarities end.
On the opposite side of the court, you’ll see a stack of various objects – regular barrels, explosive barrels, coins, horizontal planks, vertical planks, etc. Your job is to knock as much of this debris out of the court as possible with a limited amount of ammunition. There is also a handy meter on the side of the screen that lets you know if you’ve cleared enough.
The fun thing is that the physics engine is impressive for such a simple game. The objects will bounce off each other and either fall back onto the court or get thrown out of bounds. They are also stacked in ways that if you hit at just the right point, you could send everything down in just one hit!
And it wouldn’t be a CogniFit game if high levels didn’t have a few difficulty mechanics thrown in! There is wind that will move your target around and you’ll have to compensate with the arrow keys. And there will eventually be a power meter that will tell you how fast/hard the ball will shoot out depending on when you hit the space bar.
You might not believe it, but Estimate is one of our most important cognitive abilities. And it’s not just so we can guess how heavy a bag of apples is or how fast the cars around us are going, it’s so much more important than that. Anything with speed, distance, or time needs this cognitive function.
Our brains use our past experiences to judge what’s around us and estimate whatever information we need at that moment. So, the more experience we have, the better we can estimate.
A good example is sports. No one can play any of these activities without Estimation. We need to judge how fast the ball/puck (whatever) and players are moving, how far and long it will take you to get to your destination, how heavy the ball is, as well as other factors like tiredness or pain.
There are things that can diminish Estimation – like frontal lobe damage. Patients who have suffered cranial trauma, brain tumor, aneurysm, MS, encephalitis, Korsavoff syndrome, anxiety, depression, etc. have been shown to have poor estimation abilities. Alcohol, cannabis, and other drugs may affect your ability to correctly estimate speed, time, and distance, which is one of the reasons why driving under the influence of many drugs can be dangerous or even life-threatening.
With Tennis Bowling, things like distance, the wind gauge, and speed meter all go towards Estimation.
When something unexpected happens and you have to think on your feet, it’s Shifting that allows you to adapt your behavior to these new events. It can be something further in the future (like having to catch a different bus) or reacting immediately (like having to move in a different direction because someone walked in front of you).
Obviously Shifting is very important in problem-solving, and anyone who is strong in this cognitive ability can…
- Adapt quickly to new changes
- Tolerate changes well
- Easily transition from one activity to another
- See different points of view and recognize hidden relationships
- Better tolerate errors
- See things from other’s points of view and find compromises
With Tennis Bowling, you’ll have a plan on where you want to send the ball, but when the debris falls, the results won’t always be what you anticipate. This means you’ll have to change your plan play-by-play, triggering your Shifting abilities.
Spatial perception is the ability to be aware of your relationships with the environment around you and with yourself. It can also be referred to as the exteroceptive and interoceptive processes respectively. It’s one of the harder cognitive abilities to wrap our heads around, but it basically allows us to understand our environment and how we are in it based on our understanding of what’s around us and how we feel (like our visual and haptic systems).
So, we feel the sand below our feet and the breeze on our faces as well as see the waves in the distance. We’re near at beach. It’s a crude example, granted, but it’s still one that demonstrates spatial perception.
This is an important cognitive ability because we are constantly using it, even if we’re not actively aware of it. However, Spatial Perception may be affected by some developmental disorders like autism, Asperger’s, cerebral palsy, as well as others. In these cases, the problem lies in the lack of understanding of their own body. Meaning, they lack spatial perception towards their body and the difficulty interpreting it as a whole.
In Tennis Bowling, you have to think within a 3-dimensional space. But the added factor of the wind moving and debris falling in different directions, also makes you flex your Spatial perception.
Tennis Bowling – End Thoughts
However, there’s no need to play these brain games together if you don’t want to. All you need to do is find any games you like and play for 20 minutes a session, 3 times a week. That’s enough to make a difference in your brain!