Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Brain and Gaming

Post #400.

As a continuation of gaming and the brain, a group of researches in Belgium have found that excessive gaming can change a teenager's brain structure. But not necessarily in a bad way.

Already a thumbs up for this article for not going the "games make you violent/stupid" route.

The team plans on doing more research regarding this, but the results have some interesting merit. While those that played games excessively (more then 12 hours a week) showed some consistency with the brain development of addiction, it also showed growth in the frontal lobe; the area that improves brain function. The study did not establish whether these changes were predisposition based on the teen's current living conditions, or a direct effect from gaming, but they plan to expand the study to include adults who have never gamed before, to see if there are any differences.

I'd be interested in seeing this expand out to include gender differences and the length of study being increased to over several years, rather then a 1-2 months. A lot of the past research regarding video games tends to be short, in isolation, and errs towards provoking the subject to act out against their nature. To observe children and teens in their natural gaming habitat with as little intrusion as possible would provide the most accurate results.

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