Tags: Health Topics | Alzheimer's/Dementia | memory | video games | computer games

Memory: Can Playing Computer or Video Games Help?

By    |   Tuesday, 31 May 2016 02:46 PM

There are many do-it-yourself strategies for improving memory skills, but have you considered that playing video games could improve memory?

Most people think playing video games is probably not good for you. However, there is research from the University of California in Irvine that says otherwise, according to Science Alert.

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In the 2015 study, college students who did not normally engage in computer games were asked to play a video game for 30 minutes every day for two weeks. Some of the participants played "Angry Birds," a simplistic 2-D game, while the rest were given "Super Mario 3D World."

According to Fortune magazine, the subjects playing the 3-D game showed a 12 percent gain in memory function while the "Angry Birds" players had no improvement in memory skills. The study findings suggest that games requiring more spatially complex problem solving may help train the hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for helping you remember where you put your car keys or the name of someone you've recently met.

Another earlier study carried out at Johns Hopkins University assessed the memory skills of participants prior to the study and after one month of playing either an action video game or a more passive game for at least one hour each day.

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The researchers discovered that playing action video games had a significant positive impact on the subjects’ visual working memory. The key to these action-packed games’ ability to improve memory is related to their rapidly changing environment and complexity, says Psychology Today.

One of the co-authors of the University of California study, neurobiologist Craig Stark, says these computer games are like a workout for the brain, but once you stop “training” by playing them, any memory gains will soon be lost.

While action video games may not be for everyone, Stark believes there could be a use for them in helping people, especially the elderly, regain some lost memory muscle.

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There are many do-it-yourself strategies for improving memory skills, but have you considered that playing video games could improve memory?
memory, video games, computer games
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2016-46-31
Tuesday, 31 May 2016 02:46 PM
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