A study developed by a team from the University of Rochester suggests that by playing action intensive video games such as Call of Duty, you could actually be doing your brain a favor.
According to the study, our brains are constantly trying to predict what’s going to happen next, all the time. As we learn and grow, we develop mental “templates” of our experiences which help us to figure out what to expect.
The aim of the researchers experiments was to find out if people who played action based videogames were better at creating these mental templates because of the skills they develop playing these types of game.
To do this, the researchers had two groups of test subjects. One was set the task of playing fast-paced action video games, such as Call of Duty and Unreal Tournament. The other was to play slower paced titles, like The Sims.
Before and after the groups started playing these games, they were given pattern recognition tests to complete. The results of the study?
“The test showed that the action video games players improved their templates, compared to the control group who played the non-action video games.”
There you have it. Scientific proof that all those hours spent playing CoD actually improved your brain, rather than melting it like your parents were probably constantly suggesting.
And that’s not all.
“The researchers also found that the action gamers’ improved performance is a lasting effect. When tested several months to a year later, the action-trained participants still outperformed the other participants, suggesting that they retained their ability to build better templates.”
So, not only does it improve our cognitive abilities, these improvements can be long-lasting to boot. Truly, science is a wonderful thing.
Hopefully, we can look forward to many more studies encouraging us to frantically click buttons in front of a large screen for hours on end.
After all, it does make us more cleverer.
A link to the study can be found here.
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