It may be the popularity of video games that keep researches so interested in them. The more experts reveal through their investigations though the more games seem to aid our lives.
In a new study by a team of neurobiologists at the University of California, Irvine looked at the benefits of 3D gaming in improving memory formation. This was conducted with the aim of helping the fight against dementia and memory loss.
In the research for the report the team took a group of non-gaming college students and split them into two group, and asked them to play video games for 30 minutes a day over two weeks. One of these teams would play Angry Birds (a 2D game) and the others played Super Mario 3D World, a game selected with the aim of making the player be more involved in the 3D game world.
Before and after the gaming started the researchers would do a memory test on the students that engaged their brain’s hippocampus (the area associated with learning and memory). At the conclusion of the tests those who played 3D games saw an improvement in their scores, 2D game players did not.
Commenting on the results of the research, Craig Stark one of the report team stated:
“First, the 3-D games have a few things the 2-D ones do not. They’ve got a lot more spatial information in there to explore. Second, they’re much more complex, with a lot more information to learn. Either way, we know this kind of learning and memory not only stimulates but requires the hippocampus.”
With the revelation that video gamers saw 12% improvement in recall and memory ability by the end of the study, it is interesting to note that this is the same amount as is normally recused from the ages of 45 to 70. Based on this Stark reasons:
“Can we use this video game approach to help improve hippocampus functioning? It’s often suggested that an active, engaged lifestyle can be a real factor in stemming cognitive aging. While we can’t all travel the world on vacation, we can do many other things to keep us cognitively engaged and active. Video games may be a nice, viable route.”
Based on the results, this does seem like common sense. Any report that argues that more gaming is better for us has to be taken as a positive.
Do you find the results of the research interesting? Let us know your thoughts below.