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Do video games help or hinder your brain ?

Posted on Friday, 11 August, 2017 | Comment icon 49 comments

Can video games benefit your brain ? Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Kenny Louie
Scientists have been studying the impact different types of games have on certain areas of the brain.
While the physical inactivity associated with long gaming sessions can have a negative impact on general fitness, there's no denying that video games can offer important health benefits as well.

In addition to improving reflexes, some types of games can also benefit the player by improving problem solving, spatial awareness and in the case of online gaming, even social confidence.

In a recent study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, scientists used an MRI scanner to analyze what sort of impact frequent gaming sessions have on the brain.

For the test, 43 people who typically did not play any games were asked to spend 90 hours over 10 weeks playing either action games ( such as Call of Duty ) or platformers ( such as Super Mario ).

The results indicated that those who played action games lost gray matter in the hippocampus while those who played platformers actually gained gray matter in the hippocampus.

"In the majority of action video games, there's an onscreen GPS overlaid on the screen," said study lead author Gregory West. "There's also wayfinding markers overlaid over the environment, and we know from past studies that when people are encouraged to navigate using these cues, really, they're not using their hippocampal memory system to navigate."

"It's kind of like your brain's autopilot, you could think of it that way."

Those who do play action games however should not be too concerned by the results.

"If I had to recommend a type of video game to someone, it would be a 3D platform or logic puzzle game," said West. "The evidence is clear at this point that these games can be beneficial."

Source: NPR.org | Comments (49)

Tags: Video Games, Brain

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #40 Posted by XenoFish on 15 August, 2017, 14:32
http://progamerhub.com/day-life-pro-gamer/ https://dotesports.com/league-of-legends/western-progamers-shouldnt-want-to-be-like-koreans-5759
Comment icon #41 Posted by FLOMBIE on 15 August, 2017, 14:46
Western progamers shouldn't want to be like koreans (korean progames). Like what? Autists with hot girlfriends?
Comment icon #42 Posted by XenoFish on 15 August, 2017, 14:54
I found the links interesting. I clock about 4+hours a day in an fps mp that I've been playing since 2011. Got over 3000 hours in. Most on console and about 1000 hours in on pc. It keeps the existential dread way.
Comment icon #43 Posted by jmccr8 on 16 August, 2017, 1:44
I really haven't played video games, I grew up with pool,darts and shuffle board althoughI have always enjoyed decode-a-quote,crosswords, and word jumbles which I now do with my grand-daughter. jmccr8
Comment icon #44 Posted by Ruby04 on 16 August, 2017, 2:00
A really good psychologist I had (for Depression and Anxiety) from 2015-mid 2016 told me video games can be a stress relief for people, in moderation ofcourse. Some games can be used as forms of exercise Dance games,fitness games are good for that. I've found some games canhelp with memory to. I'veonly just startedgaming more recently (I blame Michael since he's a gamer lol) and have found it does help when I'm angry, Anxious orstressed. With fps you can take your anger out on the enemies in the game and it has no effect on people in the real world.
Comment icon #45 Posted by XenoFish on 16 August, 2017, 2:07
I have killed so many people and the only thing hurt is their egos. Which is better than real dead bodies. I play a lot of retro games on PC sometimes. Just to relieve stress. I got a clicker game running almost 24/7.
Comment icon #46 Posted by Ruby04 on 16 August, 2017, 2:19
That's what I mean, you don't physically harm anyone.
Comment icon #47 Posted by XenoFish on 16 August, 2017, 2:20
You know it would be nice if wars were fought using video games. Cheaper too.
Comment icon #48 Posted by Klownzilla on 16 August, 2017, 2:27
Haha i can just see it now...even though i'm sure this wasn't exactly what you meant. The leaders of the world fighting over...well whatever and settle everything with a Tekken tournament. :-D
Comment icon #49 Posted by DieChecker on 16 August, 2017, 3:20
That's what they told Ender...

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