Are Video Games Good for the Brain? Recent Research Says Yea!

Are Video Games Good for the Brain? Recent Research Says Yea!

Video games get quite a bad reputation in media these days. They are frequently mentioned as cause of a range of maladies in the younger generation ranging from obesity to increased penchant for violence.

But a lot of studies are coming up in the recent years that counteract these claims, and state that gaming, in fact, could be beneficial for your brain as it has a large impact on expanding and sharpening your cognitive abilities.

How Gaming Helps Your Brain

Let’s take a look at the ways gaming can positively impact your brain functions.

  • Improves attention and focus – A 2012 study by Green and Bavelier found that playingaction-based video games improves our spatial attention; that is the ability tolocate a target stimulus from a bunch of stimuli present, and also keep trackof it. Gaming trains your mind to discard unwanted spatial information and keepit on a single track, thereby improving focus.
  • Improvesreflex and response time – Gaming hones skills like hand-eye coordination andaudio-visual information processing. Your “fight or flight” response worksovertime and as a result your response to non-game situations too becomesquicker as your mind is trained in quickly assessing and responding tosituations.
  • ImprovesmemoryGamingimproves your ability to recognize and differentiate between patterns, which isa sign of improved long-term memory. It also improves your working orshort-term memory by giving your brain solid practice in retaining information.
  • Betterdecision-making skills – A long-term exposure to gaming has been linked to animprovement in decision-making ability, as it trains your mind to constantlypick and choose between relevant and irrelevant stimuli. This contributes instrengthening your decision making skills, as it’s largely dependent on yourability to choose between desired and undesired actions.
  • Helps youmulti-task by improving flexibility – Multiple researches have shownthat playing video games increase your ability to switch rapidly and withouterror between tasks that have conflicting demands. This is an excellent skillwhen it comes to multi-tasking.
  • Better problemsolving skills – Gaming has positive impact on a lot of functions that are importantfor your day-to-day functioning like attention span, working memory, mentalflexibility, reasoning skills etc. All of these make up our executivefunctioning, i.e. problem solving or the ability to “get things done”. Itpromotes creative thinking and quick response time, which are crucial skills inproblem solving.
  • Slows mentaldecline –your mental flexibility and memory decline naturally with age. Several studieshave found that a long time exposure to video games and gaming practices cankeep your brain flexible for a longer period of time because of the constantpractice. This results in an agile and working brain even in advanced age,which improves your quality of life in the sunset years.

ConclusionToo much of anything is bad, and the same goes for gaming. If you are addicted to games and are ignoring real-world responsibilities due to that, then it is a problem. But purely as a practice, gaming has multiple positive effects on your brain and cognitive abilities. Moderation anda more or less fixed gaming routine can keep the negative effects in check. Soroll up your sleeves gaming nerds, and play away to glory!

[free_training demo_text="" demo_textarea="" _fw_coder="aggressive" __fw_editor_shortcodes_id="da12228dbf8b208e277384da4a7467db"][/free_training]

4 thoughts on “Are Video Games Good for the Brain? Recent Research Says Yea!

Comments are closed.