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Video gamers have an advantage in learning

Octagon7711Octagon7711 Member LegendaryPosts: 8,773

Video gamers have an advantage in learning

September 29, 2017
Ruhr-University Bochum
Neuropsychologists let video gamers compete against non-gamers in a learning competition. During the test, the video gamers performed significantly better and showed an increased brain activity in the brain areas that are relevant for learning.

Neuropsychologists of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum let video gamers compete against non-gamers in a learning competition. During the test, the video gamers performed significantly better and showed an increased brain activity in the brain areas that are relevant for learning. Prof Dr Boris Suchan, Sabrina Schenk and Robert Lech report their findings in the journal Behavioural Brain Research.

The weather prediction task

The research team studied 17 volunteers who -- according to their own statement -- played action-based games on the computer or a console for more than 15 hours a week. The control group consisted of 17 volunteers who didn't play video games on a regular basis. Both teams did the so-called weather prediction task, a well-established test to investigate the learning of probabilities. The researchers simultaneously recorded the brain activity of the participants via magnetic resonance imaging.

The participants were shown a combination of three cue cards with different symbols. They should estimate whether the card combination predicted sun or rain and got a feedback if their choice was right or wrong right away. The volunteers gradually learned, on the basis of the feedback, which card combination stands for which weather prediction. The combinations were thereby linked to higher or lower probabilities for sun and rain. After completing the task, the study participants filled out a questionnaire to sample their acquired knowledge about the cue card combinations.

Video gamers better with high uncertainties

The gamers were notably better in combining the cue cards with the weather predictions than the control group. They fared even better with cue card combinations that had a high uncertainty such as a combination that predicted 60 percent rain and 40 percent sunshine.

The analysis of the questionnaire revealed that the gamers had acquired more knowledge about the meaning of the card combinations than the control group. "Our study shows that gamers are better in analysing a situation quickly, to generate new knowledge and to categorise facts -- especially in situations with high uncertainties," says first author Sabrina Schenk.

This kind of learning is linked to an increased activity in the hippocampus, a brain region that plays a key role in learning and memory. "We think that playing video games trains certain brain regions like the hippocampus," says Schenk. "That is not only important for young people, but also for older people; this is because changes in the hippocampus can lead to a decrease in memory performance. Maybe we can treat that with video games in the future."

Story Source:

Materials provided by Ruhr-University BochumNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

"We all do the best we can based on life experience, point of view, and our ability to believe in ourselves." - Naropa      "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."  SR Covey


  • AUNE2018AUNE2018 Member UncommonPosts: 27
    There is a ton of great research on the positive effects of video games. They've even developed games to help children adhere to cancer treatment, and it's super effective!
  • McCroneMcCrone Member CommonPosts: 3
    edited November 2017
    Yep, that's true
    I learned English by playing games such as Fallout 1 and Fallout 2, Day of Tentacle and Morrowind. I'm only playing in English and I do not know anything else.
    Now I play mainly in mmo sci-fi, these are the climates that I like. On the market there are not many interesting titles, some still live. I mean EVE online, a brilliant MMO game moved to outer space. There are two things in EVE: Isk and skill injector. If you bought both of these things, you are especially good if you buy EVE injector skill. Buys EVE Isk and buys skill injectorsinjectors
    Post edited by McCrone on
  • JordanbelfortJordanbelfort Member CommonPosts: 1
    They were then subject to a trial of memory, with similar cards, and needed to 'foresee' the climate conditions when demonstrated a particular card. The competitor got moment input on whether they were correct or wrong for each situation.

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