Playing Video Games Can Improve Brain Power and Cognitive Skills, Study Claims
Parents, next time when you are about to chide your kids for playing video games just remember the new studies that show video games can boost brain powers and are far from mind numbing.
There are certain games that, like action and real time strategy games, can boost brain power in decision making and also make cognitive skills flexible. All of these show that video games are able to make a person more adaptable to situations and the ability to think on the fly.
Scientists from University College London and Queen Mary’s School of biological and Chemical Sciences recruited 72 volunteers and broke them into groups of 3. Two groups played real life strategy game “StarCraft” and the other played Sims, life simulation games which didn’t require much tactics. Participants played 40 hours per week video games over 6-8 weeks and had variety of psychometric tests before and after the study. It showed that those who played StarCraft had drastically improved their cognitive flexibility.
One of the researchers Dr. Brian Glass said: “Previous research has demonstrated that action video games, such as Halo, can speed up decision making but the current work finds that real-time strategy games can promote our ability to think on the fly and learn from past mistakes.”
Daphe Bavelier, Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at University of Rochester, has done over 20 studies on this subject matter and she reached a conclusion. Gamers performed better on variety of tests focused on brain’s speed, attention, accuracy, and multitasking skills.
She found out that a type of vision called contrast sensitivity, which involves seeing subtle shades of grey drastically improved in gamers which had real life advantages
“This is a skill that comes in very handy if you’re driving in fog. (And) Seeing the car ahead of you is determined by your contrast sensitivity.”
Video games can boost brain power, but it is still unclear if they would diminish over time if one stopped playing.