From Call of Duty to Arkham Knights: Video Games Reportedly Linked to Better Cognitive Development in Children

According to a new study, playing video games may be related to improved cognitive function in children, contrary to the conventional perception that video games might lead to mental health problems.


Contrary to common opinion, playing video games may be related to improved cognitive function in youngsters, according to a recent study. A study published in JAMA Network Open, on over 2,000 youngsters revealed that children who played video games for three hours or more per day performed better on cognitive skills tests involving impulse control and working memory than children who had never played video games.

“This study adds to our growing understanding of the associations between playing video games and brain development,” said NIDA Director Nora Volkow, M.D. “Numerous studies have linked video gaming to behaviour and mental health problems. This study suggests that there may also be cognitive benefits associated with this popular pastime, which are worthy of further investigation,” Volkow added, stated the report.

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A New Research in the US Claims that Video Games Enhances Children’s Cognitive Behaviorgames

The study’s research team examined data collected from youngsters aged 9 to 10. The study team observed over 2,000 individuals and reviewed the survey, cognitive, and brain imaging data. In order to perform the study, the youngsters were reportedly divided into two groups: those who claimed to play no video games and those who reported playing video games for three hours or more every day. The research team examined children’s performance on two tests that measured their capacity to memorise information and control impulsive behaviour for each category. The brain activity of these youngsters was also monitored while they completed the activities.

The study results have shown that the youngsters who reported playing video games for three or more hours per day performed better and more accurately on both cognitive tests than those who never played. Several variations in cognitive function across groups were accompanied by changes in brain activity were observed. According to functional MRI brain imaging analysis, gamers had increased brain activity in areas of the brain involved with attention and memory than those who did not. Moreover, children who play video games for more than three hours a day have shown improved brain activity in frontal brain regions that are associated with more cognitively demanding tasks and less brain activity in brain regions related to vision.

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The scientists claim these patterns are the result of training impulse control and memory skills when playing games, which may be cognitively demanding, and that these improvements may lead to greater performance on related tasks. Furthermore, the comparably low activity in visual regions among children who reported playing video games might indicate that this portion of the brain becomes more efficient at visual processing as a result of frequent practice via video games.

“While we cannot say whether playing video games regularly caused superior neurocognitive performance, it is an encouraging finding, and one that we must continue to investigate in these children as they transition into adolescence and young adulthood,” said Bader Chaarani, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont and the lead author on the study. He added, “Many parents today are concerned about the effects of video games on their children’s health and development, and as these games continue to proliferate among young people, it is crucial that we better understand both the positive and negative impact that such games may have.”

Previously, a study found that video games might cause life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias in sensitive children whose susceptibility may have gone unnoticed.

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Is Gaming Actually Good For You?

Everything under control is beneficial to the human body; when it exceeds the limit, it causes a variety of issues. Gaming has its own set of consequences; it is beneficial when used responsibly, but when used excessively, it may lead to a slew of issues. A few pros of gaming can be said that it improves cognitive functions as the above study shows, will help in managing resources, better eye coordination, multitasking etc.