Computer games are good for the brain – here's what scientists say

Parents often complain about their children spending a lot of time playing computer games. There is even an opinion that many video games negatively affect the psyche of children and make them more violent. In fact, there is no scientific evidence yet of this effect of games on children, but there is evidence that they have a positive effect on the brain. In particular, this result was shown by a recent study by scientists who found that video games improve mental abilities, including attention and memory. Almost 90 people took part in the study, half of whom constantly played computer games.

Computer games have proven to be good for the brain — that's what scientists say. Computer games improve mental abilities — this has now been proven. Photo.

Computer games improve mental abilities — now it has been proven

The benefits and consequences of computer games

Scientists have long been studying the influence of games on children and adolescents. One study, for example, showed that games do not harm the psyche, as was previously believed. This time, the University of Limerick decided to find out how games affect cognitive abilities.

88 young people took part in the study. All participants were given three tasks that assessed different aspects of their mental abilities. These included a test to assess executive function and working memory, and a maze-based exercise to assess visuospatial abilities.

As a result, the researchers found that computer gamers completed tasks 12-17% faster than those who did not play games. As the researchers themselves say, gamers have some cognitive advantages over the general population, especially with regard to attention and memory. Scientists report this in the British Journal of Psychology.

Benefits and consequences of computer games. Computer game lovers performed better on tasks that reflect their mental abilities. Photo.

Computer gamers performed better on tasks that reflected their mental abilities

Do computer games train mental endurance games

The researchers did not limit themselves to the results obtained, and decided to test the so-called mental endurance, that is, how long game lovers can engage in mental activity and not get tired. To do this, volunteers were given an additional task that required concentration for a long time and caused cognitive fatigue. The latter manifests itself in the form of decreased performance.

After repeated testing, scientists found no difference between gamers and other participants. That is, mental fatigue was approximately the same, or rather, the decrease in productivity was the same. This means that games do not train mental endurance.

Why computer games improve mental abilities

It cannot be said that the results obtained came as a surprise, since computer games train various mental abilities. For example, fans of action films train their spatial imagination. They move three-dimensional objects and remember their position in space. In addition, gamers have to quickly switch their attention.

Why computer games improve mental abilities. Computer games improve spatial thinking. Photo.

Computer games improve spatial thinking

According to some experts, spatial orientation among game lovers improves quickly, and the results are no worse than after special physical training. Some studies have shown that playing video games leads to more intense and efficient neuronal communication. This is what increases the ability to concentrate and recognize patterns.

True, not all games have the same effect on mental abilities. In terms of spatial thinking, shooter fans do best. Fans of role-playing games and puzzles had worse results. However, their other abilities are likely to improve.

Why computer games improve mental abilities. Shooters develop spatial thinking best. Photo.

Shooter games are the best for developing spatial thinking

Also, some studies suggest that video games are a type of social interaction, so they have the same benefits as offline games. Unlike movies and television, they allow you to interact with the in-game system, as well as compete online with other people.

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Some studies on rats have shown that playful fighting activates growth factors in areas of the brain responsible for social activity. As a result, these areas are better developed. It can be assumed that people's games have the same effect. This means that video games can lead to the same consequences. However, to confirm this, additional research is needed. But we can say with confidence that computer games contribute to the development of creative abilities. You can read more about this at the link.

Finally, we note that you should not play computer games for too long. Sitting for long periods of time is harmful to health. In addition, prolonged use of the computer has a negative impact on vision. Therefore, the time spent in front of a monitor or smartphone screen must be limited in any case.