Video games increase brain activity and decision-making skills, making gamers faster and more accurate in their responses and better at decision-making tasks. This was reported on July 11 by the journal Neuroscience.

Scientists from the University of Georgia in the United States, using magnetic resonance imaging, found that video games can be a useful tool for teaching decision-making at the perceptual-cognitive level, when the decision is made up of steps and operations.

“The vast majority of our youth play video games for more than three hours a week, but the beneficial effects of games on decision making and the brain as a whole are not exactly known. Our work provides some answers. Video games can be used effectively for learning, such as teaching effective decision making, therapeutic interventions,” said Mukesh Dhamala, associate professor of the Georgia Department of Computer Science.

The study involved 47 college-age participants, of whom 28 were categorized as regular video game players and 19 as non-players. As part of the experiment, the subjects lay inside a tomograph with a mirror that allowed them to see the signal, which was immediately followed by a display of moving dots. The study showed that subjects who played video games reacted faster and more accurately.

“These results indicate that video games potentially improve some sub-processes of feeling, perceiving and translating them into action to improve decision making skills. These results shed light on how video games improve the brain’s ability to complete tasks and its potential for skill development,” the researchers concluded.

On May 11, Nature magazine reported that playing video games can boost brain power. The researchers analyzed the cognitive performance of 9,855 children aged 9-10 years, and then repeated the data collection two years later.

The information obtained was correlated with the time that study participants spent playing video games, watching TV and communicating on social networks. When tested again, those subjects who preferred computer games showed higher results – their IQ increased by about 2.5 points.

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