Researchers may have found an excuse to play video games after school. A new study shows certain video games may reorganize the brain in young men who have played video games extensively.
Playing video games may seem like a waste of time, but it may give them a performance increase on certain tasks that require visuomotor skills.
Researchers compared 13 men in their twenties with extensive (at least four hours of gaming per week over the last three years) video game experience, to a separate group of 13 young men with little to no video gaming experience. Each subject had functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) performed on them as they completed tasks. The tasks involved using video game controllers or reaching the opposite way they were looking.
The use of the MRI machines allowed researchers to determine the exact area of the brain active at any given moment. The ‘tests’ these men were asked to perform were related to video game skills that may be helpful to real world situations.
The study concluded the men with significant video gaming experience were relying more heavily on the front of their brain while non-video-gaming subjects relied mainly on the parietal cortex.
Researchers are currently discussing a potential study comparing the type of video game to brain function as well as the total amount of time a video game has been played.