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Secretary Bernhardt Applauds Nomination of Sequoyah Simermeyer for Chair of the National Indian Gaming Commission

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Date: June 25, 2019
Contact: Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov

WASHINGTON – Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate E. Sequoyah Simermeyer to chair the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC). Simermeyer, a member of the Coharie Tribe, previously advised the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, served under the Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, and worked for the National Congress of American Indians.

“Sequoyah Simermeyer has a wealth of experience on tribal issues working in different executive and legislative branch capacities,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. “He is the ideal candidate for this position, and I urge Congress to confirm him quickly.”

“We appreciate the President quickly nominating a new Chair of the National Indian Gaming Commission,” said Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. “Mr. Simermeyer has years of experience that qualify him for NIGC Chair including serving as Counselor and Deputy Chief of Staff to the Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, as Counsel on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and presently as Associate Commissioner of the NIGC since November 2015. We look forward to hearing about Mr. Simermeyer’s vision for the NIGC during the confirmation process.”

In his current role as a Commissioner and the Director of Self-Regulation for the National Indian Gaming Commission, Simermeyer works with federal, state, and tribal bodies on national gaming regulatory policy and compliance as well as self-regulation petitions.

Simermeyer formerly advised the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and served as the Deputy Chief of Staff and as a Counselor to the Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. He also advocated on national and international policy issues with the National Congress of American Indians and holds a law degree from Cornell Law School.

Background

The NIGC has jurisdiction over 512 licensed gaming establishments operated by 246 Indian Tribes in 29 States. In FY 2017, tribal gross gaming revenues were approximately $32.4 billion. The NIGC currently has roughly 114 full-time employees in seven regional offices with an annual budget of $25 million in FY 2019. The NIGC budget is funded through fees paid by tribal gaming operations and can be up to 0.080% of gross gaming revenue pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Photo: E. Sequoyah Simermeyer of Maryland
Photo: E. Sequoyah Simermeyer of Maryland

 

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Online brain games can extend in-game ‘cognitive youth’ into old age, study says

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Online brain games can extend in-game 'cognitive youth' into old age, UCI-led study says
“The brain is not a muscle, but like our bodies, if we work out and train it, we can improve our mental performance,” says the study’s lead author, Mark Steyvers, a UCI professor of cognitive sciences. Credit: Steve Zylius, UCI

A University of California, Irvine-led study has found that online brain game exercises can enable people in their 70s and even 80s to multitask cognitively as well as individuals 50 years their junior. This is an increasingly valuable skill, given today’s daily information onslaught, which can divide attention and be particularly taxing for older adults.

“The brain is not a muscle, but like our bodies, if we work out and train it, we can improve our mental performance,” said lead author Mark Steyvers, a UCI professor of cognitive sciences. “We discovered that people in the upper age ranges who completed specific training tasks were able to beef up their brain’s ability to switch between tasks in the game at a level similar to untrained 20- and 30-year-olds.”

The findings, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, underscore the cognitive cost of multitasking, which dilutes function by splitting focus, as well as the ways in which people across the lifespan can overcome the brain drain brought on by both the increasingly cluttered multimedia environment and the natural aging process.

For the study, Steyvers and his colleagues partnered with Lumosity, an online platform that offers a variety of daily brain training games. They focused on data from “Ebb and Flow”—a task-switching game that challenges the brain’s ability to shift between cognitive processes interpreting shapes and movement. Of the millions of people who played the game between 2012 and 2017, researchers randomly sampled the performance of about 1,000 users within two categories: those who ranged in age from 21 to 80 and had completed fewer than 60 training sessions; and adults 71 to 80 who had logged at least 1,000 sessions.

They found that the majority of older and highly practiced players were able to match or exceed the performance of younger users who had not played very much. Any lead seniors had, though, significantly declined after the 21- to 30-year-olds had completed more than 10 practice sessions.

“Medical advances and improved lifestyles are allowing us to live longer,” Steyvers said. “It’s important to factor brain health into that equation. We show that with consistent upkeep, cognitive youth can be retained well into our golden years.”


New app tests how mood affects cognitive performance


More information:
Mark Steyvers el al., “A large-scale analysis of task switching practice effects across the lifespan,” PNAS (2019). www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1906788116

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University of California, Irvine

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Online brain games can extend in-game ‘cognitive youth’ into old age, study says (2019, August 19)
retrieved 20 August 2019
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