Video Gamers Learn Better
People who play video games performed significantly better than non-gamers in a learning competition and had increased activity in areas of the brain relevant for learning, according to a small study conducted by researchers at Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany and published in Behavioural Brain Research.
The study involved 17 volunteers who reported playing action-based games on a computer or console more than 15 hours per week and a control group of 17 volunteers who didn’t play video games regularly. Study participants performed the “weather prediction task” – a well-established test used to investigate learning probabilities. Researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to record brain activity of the participants.
According to researchers, gamers analyzed situations, generated new knowledge, and categorized facts quicker than non-gamers. This type of learning is associated with increased activity in the hippocampus – a region of the brain that plays a key role in memory and cognitive function.