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Study: Video Games Can Increase Brain Function

by Ron Duwell | November 7, 2013November 7, 2013 5:30 pm PDT

Super Mario 64

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charité University Medicine St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus in Berlin have released a new study claiming that video games can increase one’s brain capacity.

According to the authors of the study found in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, video games are “highly pervasive activity, providing a multitude of complex cognitive and motor demands” that “can be seen as an intense training of several skills.”

Believing this, researches charged 23 adults with an average age of 24 with the task of playing Super Mario 64 for at least half an hour every day for two months.

When completed, the study found a “significant gray matter increase” in the video gamers compared to the control study group of those who did not play games. The areas of the brain which control “spatial navigation, strategic planning, working memory and motor performance” saw the most increase and jumped even more as the gamers wanted to play the game.

“While previous studies have shown differences in brain structure of video gamers, the present study can demonstrate the direct causal link between video gaming and a volumetric brain increase. This proves that specific brain regions can be trained by means of video games,” said study leader Simone Kühn, Senior Scientist at the Center for Lifespan Psychology.

There has been no study as of yet to determine if playing just Mario boosts intelligence, or if this is in regard to all video games in general, maybe even Call of Duty.

So just remember kids, the next time Mom asks you to do your homework, and you are busy bouncing off the heads of Goombas, be sure to tell her you are doing far something more constructive than silly old arithmetic.


Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...

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