Playing 3D Video Games Can Boost Memory Formation

Researchers found that memory improved by 12 per cent after two weeks of playing Super Mario 3D World.

Playing 3D Video Games Can Boost Memory Formation

Experts just cannot recognize whether videogames can save you or destroy you: some say that it would make you aggressive and distracted, others say that it would help hand- eye coordination and brainpower.

According to a new study from the Journal of Neuroscience, another gain for video gaming – playing with 3D games like Supermario 3D Earth enhanced people’s memories by 12 percent over two weeks.

As part of the study, neuroscientists at the University of California, Irvine recruited university students with no with no gaming experience to play either Angry Birds (a 2D game on their mobiles) or Super Mario 3D World, which has an “intricate, 3D setting.” The students played for 30 minutes per day over two weeks.

Playing 3D Video Games Can Boost Memory Formation

The 3D games have a few things the 2D ones do not. They’ve got a lot more spatial information in there to explore. Second, they’re much more complex, with a lot more information to learn,” according to Craig Stark, one of the authors of the study. 

Before this two-week period, the students were required to take a memory check involving a number of pictures of everyday materials that needed to be categorized. Following the video game play, the test was given again but with slightly altered images – where recognizing the altered images are something we get worse at, as we get older – and these students got 12 percent better.

Playing 3D Video Games Can Boost Memory FormationOther researchers have also experimented with the effects of Super Mario on the brain and found it has a positive effect. For instance, Professor Simone Kuhn from the Max-Planck Institute of Human Development, in Berlin, found that playing Super Mario for two months led to parts of volunteers’ brains actually growing in size – particularly areas involved with navigation and motor control.

Professor Stark stated that the next step was to use this study to assist people that were older change or slow the consequences of ageing to the brain.

While we can’t all travel the world on vacation, we can do many other things to keep us cognitively engaged and active. Video games may be a nice, viable route.”

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