Playing with your brain

ScienceDaily | 8/8/2017 | Staff
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In a series of studies Dr. Véronique Bohbot (Douglas Mental Health University Institute; CIUSSS de l'Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal) and Dr. Greg West (Université de Montréal) demonstrate that the way that action (first-person shooter) video game players use their brains to navigate changes the impact the games have on their nervous system.

"Thanks to navigation tests and brain scans, our studies show that response learners, those players using their brain's autopilot and reward system to navigate, experienced grey matter loss in their hippocampus after playing action video games for 90 hours. The hippocampus is the key structure involved in spatial memory (orientation) and episodic memory (autobiographical events) within the brain. On the contrary, spatial learners, those using their hippocampus to navigate, increased their grey matter after playing for the same amount of time," says first author Dr. Greg West, researcher and associate professor at the Université de Montréal.

Amount - Time - Games - System - Participants

"The same amount of screen time with 3D-platform games caused only increases within this system across all participants."

These new neuroimaging studies confirm the previous work published by Dr. West and Dr. Bohbot in 2015.

Action - Video - Game - Players - Response

"Actually, action video game players are nearly twice more prone to be categorized as response learners (83%) compared to non-video game players (43%). This matters a lot when you know how important the hippocampus is for a healthy cognition," explains co-author Dr. Véronique Bohbot, researcher at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and associate professor at McGill University.

People with lower amounts of grey matter in the hippocampus are known to be at increased risks of...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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