Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Are video games good for brain fitness? It may depend on who you are.

I recently ran across a study that failed to show positive brain fitness benefits of a video-game intervention in college students.  The study reference is below (with link to article)
  • Boot, W. R., Kramer, A. F., Simons, D. J., Fabiani, M. & Gratton, G. (2008) The effects of video game playing on attention, memory, and executive control. Acta Psychologica, 129, 387-398. (click here)
The results were at variance with the majority of video-game brain fitness literature I had been hearing about.  So, I emailed the article to the best source on brain fitness - Sharp Brains.  They asked an expert (Dr. Arthur Kramer) to reconcile this study with some of his own positive game-playing brain fitness research.  You can find the discussion of the differences between the studies findings, and more importantly, the take-away implications by clicking here.

Kudos to Sharp Brains for taking the time to explore and discuss these findings.

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1 comment:

Teresa said...

I think of video gaming as a type of "body" exercise. It increases eye/hand coordination, strategic thinking and memory. But at some point, like body building, the exercise does not produce functional gains. I would guess that if the older adults gamed to the degree that many college-aged students did, that they would reach a peak and no longer show gains. That said, it's a fun way for older adults to maintain executive function!