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Enhance Your Brain by Playing Video Games

video game

photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

A new research has discovered that a positive association does exist between the amounts of time used for playing video games and thickness of specific areas of the brain. Such results released in the journal PLOS ONE could demonstrate a biological reason for the cognition’s  improvements which were previously thought to occur with video gaming.

Video games are very prevailing all over the world, especially in the group of teenagers. Every year, the gaming world is becoming more and more sophisticated than ever. However, at the same time, more concerns are shown from  parents, teachers and politicians about the wide-spread applications of video games, especially those violent games which are closely linked with negative effects in some users’ behaviors. As we are already aware of the positive effects that video gaming is capable of bringing to the cognitive function.

Previous researches have found that  engaging in video games frequently  can promote certain visual skills. Playing strategic video games is also helpful in improvement of  reasoning and memory. Although many studies have shown  the benefits of video gaming affecting cognition, it is still unknown about their actual realtionships.

In order to identify such relationships, a team of scientists applied magnetic resonance imaging for scaning the brains of 152 male and female teenagers at the age of fourteen. Then the scientists used the scans in estimation of cortical thickness.

With the control in regard to age and sex, the team has found a positive correlation between the time spent on playing video games and cortical thickness of two areas of the brain, which are the left frontal eye fields (FEFs) and the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) respectively.The DLPFC is related with  strategic planning and decision making while the FEFs are quite important for eye movement to identify visuospatial attention. Such two areas are therefore closely linked with the processes which are necessary to play video games. The team didn’t find any cortical thinning relative to playing video game.

All the data collected so far demonstrate a biological reason that video gaming does bestow the positive effects on cognition. in order to find more in this respect, the scientists suggest that in the future,  this kind of research should take the specific genres of game played into account. At that time,  people would be sure that  playing Call of Duty could be better than FIFA in terms of enlarging these areas of the brain.

Source: I Fucking Love Science