Can Playing Video Games Be Beneficial?

The brain may benefit within just one hour of study in accordance with a new research published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

Playing video games is one of the habits of almost every other child today and the majority of the time, the parents of those children are constantly worried about how it might affect their child’s health and even study routines.There is some good news for those parents now.

The new study conducted by researchers from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China in Chengdu came to the conclusion that playing just one hour of the famous game League of Legends can affect brain activity.

Read the study here.

The researchers also noted that the participants of the study had an improvement in focusing on relevant information and details along with avoiding distractions.

Can Playing Video Games Be Beneficial?

How was the study conducted?

A group of 29 male students were focused on during the study and were divided into two groups. One of the groups had played video games for two years or more while the other had played for six months or less.

The group with the most experience with the particular video game or the ‘experts’ in the study were ranked among the top 7 percent of the players of the game. On the other hand, the participants with little experience were with the bottom 11 percent.

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“Visual selective attention” was an important part of the study and was checked before and after playing League of Legends.

The term visual selective attention refers to the specific ability of the brain to focus on important details while blurring out the things which are not important for the time being.

Focusing on relevant information requires a lot of brain power. Hence, researchers agree that the capability to do this shows that the individual uses his/her brain efficiently.

How is visual selective attention measured?

The authors of the study used a test comprised of squares flashing on different parts of a computer screen repeatedly to check visual selective attention of a participant.

Firstly, the subjects saw a simple square on the center of the computer screen. Then, the square was flashed on many different parts of the screen. The participants were questioned on the position of some particular square with relative to the first one.

During the visual selective attention procedure, the brain activity of the subjects was kept in check using a machine called electroencephalogram machine.

Prior to the testing, the well-experienced plays were seen to display a stronger visual selective attention than their counterparts. They also showed more brain activity on electroencephalogram machines during the test.

After playing the game for an hour, both of the groups of participants had considerable improvements in their visual selective attention capability. By the end of the test, participants from both of the groups had similar results.

In addition, the brain activity of both experienced players and non-experienced players was also the same. However, the researchers state that these findings cannot tell how long can these changes in the selective attention last.

There are still a number of areas which certainly require more research. Secondly, since the study was not conducted on a large-scale, the researchers suggest interpreting the results with a little caution.

A number of other studies have also attempted to show how video games affect the brain activity of the person playing them. Some previous studies have researched on the impact of action games like Call of Duty and Halo on the brain activity.

Can Playing Video Games Be Beneficial?

A 2010 review of such studies also affirmed that playing action video games may have some advantages including improving focus on education or military training.

The researchers of the study also agree that selective attention is a significant capability that is necessary to prevent sensory overload due to excess amount of visual information.

Improvements in visual selective attention do not only mean that a person will be better in studying but also in skills that require a lot of attention such as driving.

 

 

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