Study: Playing lots of video games may benefit kids’ brains

Looks like Fortnite and Minecraft aren’t turning your kids’ brains to mush later all.

A surprising new study has constitute that children who reported playing video games for 3 hours or more than per twenty-four hour period performed amend on cognitive skills tests involving retention and  impulse command compared to others who never played video games.

“This study adds to our growing understanding of the associations betwixt playing video games and brain development,” said Nora Volkow of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, which backed the study past the Academy of Vermont at Burlington.

“Numerous studies have linked video gaming to behavior and mental health issues. This study suggests that there may as well be cognitive benefits associated with this popular pastime, which are worthy of further investigation.”

This study suggests that there may also be cerebral benefits associated with this popular pastime, which are worthy of further investigation.”

Researchers said the findings of cognitive gain from video gaming does not come as a total surprise. More limited prior studies take suggested the aforementioned, though other studies also take linked excessive gaming as contributing to behavioral and mental wellness issues.

Kids who play video games for 3 or more hours daily have more brain ability, written report claims.
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The Vermont U. scientists studied encephalon imaging data from nigh 2,000 kids starting at ages ix and x.

They separated the kids into ii groups — those who reported playing no video games at all and those who reported playing video games for three hours per day or more than, the level the American Academy of Pediatrics deems excessive.

Doctors recommend that video gaming time be limited to i to two hours per twenty-four hours for older children.

For each group, the investigators evaluated the children’southward performance on two tasks that reflected their ability to control impulsive behavior and to memorize information, every bit well as monitor the children’s brain activeness while performing the tasks.

“The researchers constitute that the children who reported playing video games for iii or more than hours per twenty-four hour period were faster and more accurate on both cognitive tasks than those who never played,” the written report said.

MRI encephalon imaging analyses also found that children who played video games for three or more hours per mean solar day showed higher encephalon action in regions of the brain associated with attention and retention than did those who never played.

The study revealed video gamers had more brain action in frontal brain regions that are associated with more cognitively demanding tasks and less brain activity in regions related to vision.

The study surmised playing video games can exist “cognitively enervating” and may lead to improved performance.

Moreover, low activity in visual areas of the encephalon among gamers may show they are more efficient at processing information than non-gamers because of the repetitive practice video games provide, the written report suggests.

“While prior studies have reported associations between video gaming and increases in depression, violence, and aggressive behavior, this study did not find that to be the case,” researchers said.

The researchers caution there may be a selective bias that warrants more study.

“It could be that children who are good at these types of cognitive tasks may choose to play video games,” the researchers said.

The authors also emphasized that their findings do not mean that kids should spend “unlimited time on their computers, mobile phones, or TVs.”

They also cautioned that specific genres of video games — such every bit action-gamble, puzzle solving, sports, or shooting games, may have different effects for brain development, and this level of specificity on the type of games played was non measured by this study.

“While nosotros cannot say whether playing video games regularly caused superior neurocognitive performance, it is an encouraging finding, and one that we must proceed to investigate in these children every bit they transition into adolescence and young adulthood,” said Vermont U. psychiatry professor Bader Chaarani, a lead author of the study.

“Many parents today are concerned almost the effects of video games on their children’s health and development, and every bit these games continue to proliferate among young people, it is crucial that nosotros better sympathise both the positive and negative impact that such games may have.”

The longitudinal study will allow researchers to monitor the aforementioned children over time into early machismo, to encounter if changes in video gaming activity are linked to changes in cognitive skills, encephalon activeness, behavior, and mental health.

The study will besides allow them to improve account for various other factors in the children’southward life, such equally the family state of affairs and environment and daily activities including exercise, sleep quality and the like.


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