I love studies that point to the benefits of playing video games. While the rest of society is complaining that all of us gamers are becoming violent sociopaths, we will just continue to play our favorite titles and reap the mental rewards.
With recently released data, we have even more evidence that gaming is in fact a form of cerebral exercise. According to a new study out of the Netherlands, there is a distinct correlation between those who play video games, specifically first person shooters, and a noticeable enhancement in working memory capacity.
The results, published in the journal Psychological Research are based off a test comparing the working memory of those who played at least five hours of shooter games weekly to those who never played video games.
The term “working memory” is more commonly known as one’s short-term memory. This is basically the ability to hold and use a limited amount of information in our heads for a short period of time. This type of memory comes in handy at times where we need to overcome a particular problem or perform a task (such as mental arithmetic, using a phone number or following a set of directions). Working memory particularly essential for learning and development, especially during childhood.
Study lead, Dr. Lorenza Colzato, who works at the Leiden University’s cognitive psychology unit, noted that “we think the video game experience trains your brain to become more flexible in the updating and monitoring of new information, enhancing the memory capacity of the gamers.”
Part of the rationale behind these findings stem from Calzato’s observations that FPS games “require players to develop a flexible mindset to rapidly react and monitor fast moving visual and auditory stimuli.”
So what is the general conclusion derived from this study? According to Dr. Calzato, taking part in gaming is a “fast and easy way to enhance your memory.”
That’s all I needed to hear.
What game have you been playing recently in an effort to improve your working memory? And further, what FPS do you think would help your memory the most? Let us know your hypothesis!
Source: Science Daily