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See Inside January / February 2010

Brain-Training Software to Improve Your Driving Skills

Could computer software based on cognitive science improve older drivers' skills?

In the film noir classic Double Indemnity, insurance agents are presented as cold-blooded in their pursuit of the facts. But it wasn’t until I saw a recent advertisement for Allstate, the insurance company, that I realized how seriously insurance agents take neuroscience. Allstate was advising parents to vote for graduated driver-licensing laws because teenagers’ “dorsal lateral prefrontal cortexes” are immature.

There’s a reason, as this ad implies, that there are age brackets for auto insurance premiums. We drive the way we do because of our brains, which start off immature, pass through an all-too-brief peak and, often, descend slowly into decrepitude.

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