Lately, many have been the research projects aimed at developing new therapies for cognitive decline. But it would seem we should look towards common grounds. According to a new study, a game a day keeps Alzheimer’s away.
A group of neuroscientists, hailing from the University of California wanted to challenge that old misconception, according to which video games are not good for our mental health. In doing so, the team of scientists stumbled upon a most remarkable result.
According to the study’s abstract, by spending 30 minutes per day engaged in 3-D video games, we can expect a 12 percent increase in memory-related aptitudes. The team of scientists reached this conclusion after studying the effects of 3-D and 2-D video games on non-gamer college students.
The volunteers were asked to play at least 30 minutes of 3-D video games per day, for two weeks. At the end of each “work day,” the volunteers were requested to fill out several questionnaires, which encompassed several memory tests.
Each patient was required to put more accent on playing 3-D video games than playing 2-D games. The team of researchers said that 2-D can also help boost our memory skills, but 3-D games are more suited for this task because they are capable of stimulating other areas of the brain.
According to the results, the students who spent at least 30 minutes engaged in gaming activities had a 12 percent increase in memory levels. This result is indeed very interesting because, as it happens, it coincides with the rate of cognitive decline, a process typically associated with old age.
Craig Stark, one of the authors of the study declared that 3-D games are better suited at exploring the hippocampal activity because they are capable of encompassing more spatial information than traditional 2-D games.
Moreover, it would seem that the hippocampus, an area of the brain associated with memory and advanced learning skills, became more active in students who chose to play 3-D video games like Super Mario 3-D or Angry Birds.
The team also declared that there are more behind 3-D games than a simple pep pill for the memory area. By engaging in complex 3-D games, the hippocampus becomes, even more, active.
In conclusion, the study managed to stress out the fact that 3-D video games, if played in moderation, can help us improve our memory and delay symptoms associated with cognitive diseases.
Furthermore, the team even managed to prove that video games are actually capable of increasing our reflexes, and further hone our problem-solving skills.