The Link Between Bigger Brains and Video Games

Yes, it has been scientifically proven! Many avid gamers have had the reputation of being recluses, boring and socially awkward… But how about this? They might actually be smarter, and all with due thanks noted to their 3D world habit.

Molecular Psychiatry Study Says…

So here’s the down low. A new study has taken place that investigates the effect of video games on the volume of the brains gray matter. This is the tissue that controls your muscles, memory, language as well as sensory perception.

What, Who, How?

Berlin’s Max Planck Institute for Human Development along with St. Hedwig-Hospital have researchers, who used adult subjects to play “Mario 64” on a portable Nintendo for 30 minutes a day, for two consecutive months. The outcome? There was “significant gray matter increase” in both bilateral hippocampus and portions of the right prefrontal cortex.

Say Whaaat?

Let’s break it down this way. The hippocampus is the part of our brains which is responsible for memory formation, and connects all sensory information to memories. (Think here to those feelings that arise when one smells a certain scent and it brings back memories.) These “brain gains” were shown to have occurred due to the fact that when playing the game, players need to switch between first person and map views. And how’s this to make things more interesting? Research also showed that players who enjoyed the game and looked forward to playing it had more of an increased volume of gray matter than those who just played it because they had to.

Interesting stuff! So next time you’re about to moan to your boyfriend about those games he plays, think twice, it could be making him smarter.

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Lauren Joubert
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