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5 Effects That Playing Video Games Have on Memory

By    |   Tuesday, 24 March 2015 01:44 PM

Formerly discounted as brain numbing, video games are increasingly being regarded as being memory games of high quality. They significantly improve brain functions that contribute to learning and memory development, according to studies.

Here are five effects playing video games have on memory:

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1. Players of action video games learn to react quickly and deal with fast-moving visual and auditory stimulation. This is actually a fast and easy way to improve memory, according to researchers at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.

A study published in Psychological Research found that people who played video games at least five hours a week performed better at tasks than those who did not play video games. The researchers concluded that experience in video games makes the brain more flexible to monitor new information and enhance memory capacity.

2. Shooter video games may significantly strengthen cognitive skills to improve memory, perception, reasoning and spatial navigation, according to a 2013 study by the American Psychological Association.

Shooter video games are often viewed as violent, but reviewers in the study found players improved their capacity to think about objects in three dimensions to reinforce their cognitive skills. Future educational techniques might use modified forms of these video games to improve spatial skills, which are necessary for technology and engineering fields.

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3. Action video games may improve virtual working memory capacity more than non-action games, according to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. Working memory helps children and students hold onto information, improve concentration and follow instructions for learning.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University tested action video games and non-action games on participants for 30 days. Working memory capacity was examined before and after the game playing. The results indicate action video game playing improves cognitive abilities.

4. Hand-eye coordination helps players of video games learn to react with speed
and accuracy. Players of action games must keep track of positions, where to head and when to aim a gun. The Raise Smart Kid website noted that many fighter pilots today have become more skillful at tasks than previous generations because of what they learned growing up with video games.

5. Video game playing might also increase a region of the brain responsible for working memory, strategic planning and spatial navigation, according to a 2013 study at Max Planck Institute for Human Development and St. Hedwig-Hospital in Berlin. Researchers found that subjects who played Super Mario 64 for 30 minutes a day over two months had significant increase in the right hippocampus, the right prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum.

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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Formerly discounted as brain numbing, video games are increasingly being regarded as being memory games of high quality.
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Tuesday, 24 March 2015 01:44 PM
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