December 22, 2009

Researchers say video games are good for the brain

The Irish Times reports that video games are stimulating to the brain

A multidisciplinary team of neuroscientists at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, has discovered that video games increase brain activity.

The team, consisting of neuroscientist and engineer Dr Philip Zeman, behavioural neurologist Dr Ron Skelton and PhD student Sharon Lee, is set to publish findings indicating that playing video games utilises the area of the brain associated with spatial reasoning and navigation...

The results grew out of a project to increase understanding of the potential for recovery in patients with brain injuries.

“Originally we were seeking to provide a new measure for tracking recovery,” said Dr Skelton. “It turns out that skill doesn’t really return after brain injury. It’s a matter of finding what areas of the brain are damaged, which are still functioning, and how to compensate.”

The development has potential applications in diagnostics for pharmaceutical prescriptions and for brain injury patients.

Once I would have welcomed this news to justify playing games, but I give watching Jeopardy and other TV game shows a lot of the credit for my recovery of cognitive skills after a stroke. Reported on Twitter by @BrainDamageNet.