This Is Your Brain On Tetris

We’ve all seen the findings showing that Tetris has effects upon cerebral glucose metabolic rates (GMRs). Well, the game is back in the news with more brain research…

A recent study at Oxford University showed reduced “flashbacks” in volunteers who played Tetris shortly after viewing “distressing images”. The researchers suggest potential applications for those people who suffer from PTSD. One wonders if we’ll later see connections between this research and the research featured in the Newsweek article on forgetting that I blogged about previously.

Finally, I’ll also mention the research published in Nature showing enhanced contrast sensitivity in the eyesight of people who played action video games. Digging through the supplementary notes shows that they used The Sims 2 for the control game, and Unreal Tournament 2004 and Call of Duty 2 for the action games. This is interesting because typically it is thought that eyesight cannot be improved through training. Also, this is easily the first published research I have seen where participants played videogames and logged their Kill and Death percentages (check the supplementary notes!).

I suppose one day we’ll train our troops with action games and then help them cope with the “flashbacks” by playing Tetris…

[Post title is not original to me. For example, the linked Wired article uses it, among others.]

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