November 12, 2013By Lance Baily

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!

benefits of playing video games

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.

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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.

video game effects on brain

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.

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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.


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