New Research Finds Video Games May Actually Make You Smarteradmin
According to new research recently published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience suggests playing video games might actually make you better at cognitive tasks, even years after users have stopped playing, IFLScience.com reports.
Researchers from the Universitata Oberta de Catalunya recruited 27 people between the ages of 18 and 40 that had either played video games in the past, or never touched them. Each participant was tested on their cognitive skills before playing 1.5 hours of video games for 10 consecutive days, immediately after a training period, and again after 15 days of gaming. One group was also subjected to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a form of non-invasive brain stimulation, in an attempt to improve gaming performance.
While both groups improved their gaming performance, the TMS didn’t seem to have any impact at all. After comparing all other variables, the researchers determined the key variable was past gaming experience.
“People who were avid gamers before adolescence, despite no longer playing, performed better with the working memory tasks, which require mentally holding and manipulating information to get a result,” PhD researcher Marc Palaus said in a statement. “People who played regularly as children performed better from the outset in processing 3D objects, although these differences were mitigated after the period of training in video gaming, when both groups showed similar levels.”
The small sample size, as well as the fact that the study was designed for an alternative hypothesis, mean that additional research will need to be done, but the researchers write that they believe the results “provide valuable information regarding the limitations of stimulating healthy brains and the possible beneficial effects of exposure to video games.”