Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Research on Tetris shows playing video games can make your brain more efficient

Image from Mind Research Institute--This graphic shows areas of the brain that functioned more efficiently after three months of video-game practice (blue) as well as areas where the cortex became thicker (red). The left and right views show the left and right brain hemispheres.

How games change your brain

September 01, 2009
by Alan Boyle, Cosmic log MSNBC

The effects of video-game playing on your brain have been studied for a quarter-century, but the latest research reveals that there are still deep puzzles yet to be solved.

One of the earliest and most noted studies in the field was conducted back in 1992 by neuroscientist Richard Haier at the University of California at Irvine, who looked at how frequent sessions with the Tetris video game changed the players' brains. The game requires players to fit colorful puzzle pieces together at a quickening pace as they fall from the top of the screen.

Back then, Haier used brain scans to discover that some parts of the brain actually used less glucose as the players became more skilled at the game. The "Tetris effect" illustrated how video-game training could make brains work more efficiently - an idea that eventually led to a whole host of brain-training games...

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