Many have known the benefits of playing video games since the dawn of the medium. However, it has recently been discovered that the brain power gains from the constant release of adrenaline is much greater than originally thought. Though this doesn’t mean everyone should rush out and invest in new video games, it does prove the rewards of a well-rounded gaming experience. When used strategically, the short bursts of activity to increase the ability to think more quickly and creatively. The new technology used in these games actually helps the brain retains some of its mental acuity by improving the overall circulation of blood in the brain.
In one study, participants who were playing a “buzzer” game for five minutes each session performed better on verbal memory tests when compared to those who didn’t play the game. Other studies have shown that playing these types of games regularly increases cognitive function, especially in younger adults. Additionally, researchers are now identifying two specific regions in the brain where the benefits are felt the most. They are focusing on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the intraparietal sulcus. Both of these regions of the brain are particularly active when people are playing a game and it’s believed that their stimulation is actually increasing the communication between these areas. Not only do these areas help improve cognition, but they also help with problem solving as well.
When compared to other forms of entertainment, experts are discovering that video games actually have the ability to improve not only the player’s mental functioning but their communication skills as well. In fact, patients that suffer from disorders such as dementia show more improvement when playing these games than other types of media. In addition, people who suffer from mental illnesses such as depression or schizophrenia also show better improvement when they play these games regularly. It seems that playing these games may be one of the key factors in improved mental health.
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