Video Games Found Beneficial For The Brain
Kurzweil AI reports on how playing video games will increase spatial navigation, memory formation, strategic planning, and fine motor skills of the hands. Video games will become an increasing component of medical simulation education. One could even directly argue from these results that ‘play’ through medical simulation has similar results for increased brain performance!
Playing the Super Mario 64 video game causes increased size in brain regions responsible for spatial orientation, memory formation and strategic planning as well as fine motor skills, a new study conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charité University Medicine St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus has found.
The positive effects of video gaming may also be useful in therapeutic interventions targeting psychiatric disorders. (Check out PTSD Video game work by USC’s Institute for Creative Technology).
To investigate how video games affect the brain, scientists in Berlin asked 23 adults (mean age: 24) to play the video game “Super Mario 64” on a portable Nintendo XXL console over a period of two months for 30 minutes a day. A control group did not play video games.
In comparison to the control group, the video gaming group showed increases of gray matter in the right hippocampus, right prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum, measured using MRI.
These brain regions are involved in functions such as spatial navigation, memory formation, strategic planning, and fine motor skills of the hands. These changes were more pronounced the more the participants wanted to play the video 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”, says study leader Simone Kühn, senior scientist at the Center for Lifespan Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.”
Read the entire Kurzweil Article on Video Game Brain Benefits here.
Lance Baily, BA, EMT-B, is the Founder & CEO of HealthySimulation.com, which he started while serving as the Director of the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas back in 2010. Lance is also the Founder and acting Advisor to the Board of SimGHOSTS.org, the world’s only non-profit organization dedicated to supporting professionals operating healthcare simulation technologies. His new co-edited Book: “Comprehensive Healthcare Simulation: Operations, Technology, and Innovative Practice” is available now. Lance’s background also includes serving as a Simulation Technology Specialist for the LA Community College District, EMS fire fighting, Hollywood movie production, rescue diving, and global travel. He lives with his wife Abigail in Las Vegas, Nevada.