Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain regions can be specifically trained with video games

Date:
October 30, 2013
Source:
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Summary:
Video gaming causes increases in the brain regions responsible for spatial orientation, memory formation and strategic planning as well as fine motor skills. This has been shown in a new study. The positive effects of video gaming may also prove relevant in therapeutic interventions targeting psychiatric disorders.

Get gaming! Scientists found that playing Super Mario can make you brainier, or at least cause increases in the brain regions responsible for spatial orientation, memory formation and strategic planning.
Credit: © Ulrich Knappek

Video gaming causes increases in the brain regions responsible for spatial orientation, memory formation and strategic planning as well as fine motor skills. This has been shown in a new study conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charité University Medicine St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus. The positive effects of video gaming may also prove relevant in therapeutic interventions targeting psychiatric disorders.

Related Articles


In order to investigate how video games affect the brain, scientists in Berlin have asked adults to play the video game "Super Mario 64" over a period of two months for 30 minutes a day. A control group did not play video games. Brain volume was quantified using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In comparison to the control group the video gaming group showed increases of grey matter, in which the cell bodies of the nerve cells of the brain are situated. These plasticity effects were observed in the right hippocampus, right prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum. These brain regions are involved in functions such as spatial navigation, memory formation, strategic planning and fine motor skills of the hands. Most interestingly, these changes were more pronounced the more desire the participants reported 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. Therefore Simone Kühn and her colleagues assume that video games could be therapeutically useful for patients with mental disorders in which brain regions are altered or reduced in size, e.g. schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder or neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's dementia.

"Many patients will accept video games more readily than other medical interventions," adds the psychiatrist Jürgen Gallinat, co-author of the study at Charité University Medicine St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus. Further studies to investigate the effects of video gaming in patients with mental health issues are planned. A study on the effects of video gaming in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder is currently ongoing.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S Kühn, T Gleich, R C Lorenz, U Lindenberger, J Gallinat. Playing Super Mario induces structural brain plasticity: gray matter changes resulting from training with a commercial video game. Molecular Psychiatry, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/mp.2013.120

Cite This Page:

Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. "Brain regions can be specifically trained with video games." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030103856.htm>.
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. (2013, October 30). Brain regions can be specifically trained with video games. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030103856.htm
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. "Brain regions can be specifically trained with video games." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030103856.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

No, A Google Exec Did Not Predict An Internet Apocalypse

No, A Google Exec Did Not Predict An Internet Apocalypse

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) — Earlier this week, a Google exec made headlines for saying "the Internet will disappear," but that doesn&apos;t quite mean what it sounds like. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tim Cook Made 8 Times Less Than Another Apple Exec In 2014

Tim Cook Made 8 Times Less Than Another Apple Exec In 2014

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) — Tim Cook&apos;s total compensation more than doubled in 2014 to $9.2 million, but his pay was still less than four other Apple executives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
NTSB: Missing Planes' Black Boxes Should Transmit Wirelessly

NTSB: Missing Planes' Black Boxes Should Transmit Wirelessly

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) — In light of high-profile plane disappearances in the past year, the NTSB has called for changes to make finding missing aircraft easier. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins