New research published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience shows that gaming helps with awareness, even though it persists years after you stop playing.
Research from the Oberta de Catalunya University (UOC) tested 27 people (18-40 years old) who have played games in the past or have never touched them. Each participant was tested on their cognitive skills before going through 1.5 hours of gaming for 10 consecutive days, then passed the test and finally tested again 15 days after playing.
The game tested was Super Mario 64, a game that has been shown to be correlated with structural changes in the brain. One group will also receive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a non-invasive brain stimulation technique, to see if it can improve their gaming ability.
Participants from both groups improved their game play – lots of practice should improve after all – but there didn’t seem to be any enhancement effect due to the stimulus. Participants performed working memory tasks with different results before practicing the game, but with similar results after 15 hours of gaming.
Initially, the researchers aimed to test whether a combination of gaming training and non-invasive brain stimulation could be used for cognitive enhancement, but the results showed irrelevance.
So they turned to other traits that could explain differences in memory test scores. Age and gender were excluded, leaving one trait – past gaming experiences.
The researchers found that in the early stages, those who liked to play games in their pre-adolescent period performed significantly better on memory tests than those who had never played the game before, though The training with Super Mario 64 is about the same, but the benefits of gaming have long since influenced.
Marc Palaus, a UOC researcher, said: “People who have played games before adolescents, even though no longer play, still do better with manipulative memory tasks, which require mental retention and manipulation of information to get results.”
Palaus added: “Regular players as a child have performed better early on in handling 3D objects, although these differences have been minimized after training in video games, as both All groups showed similar levels. “
While games seem to have a beneficial effect on some cognitive tasks, the researchers emphasize that this effect is limited and that activities other than gaming may also achieve results. the same, similar.
Since this research serves one hypothesis, further research is needed before the game is marketed as a step toward smarter. The size of the study was relatively small, and despite initial differences in perception, participants only needed 15 hours of “game practice” before being balanced.
However, the researchers write that “Although tentative, our results provide information on the potential value of video game exposure.”