The following is excerpted from an online article posted by EurekAlert!
Frequent players of video games show superior sensorimotor decision-making skills and enhanced activity in key regions of the brain as compared to non-players, according to a recent study by Georgia State University researchers.
The authors, who used functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) in the study, said the findings suggest that video games could be a useful tool for training in perceptual decision-making.
“Video games are played by the overwhelming majority of our youth more than three hours every week, but the beneficial effects on decision-making abilities and the brain are not exactly known,” said lead researcher Mukesh Dhamala, associate professor in Georgia State’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and the university’s Neuroscience Institute.
“Our work provides some answers on that,” Dhamala said. “Video game playing can effectively be used for training — for example, decision-making efficiency training and therapeutic interventions — once the relevant brain networks are identified.”
The Georgia State research project involved 47 college-age participants, with 28 categorized as regular video game players and 19 as non-players.
The study found that video game players were faster and more accurate with their responses.
Analysis of the resulting brain scans found that the differences were correlated with enhanced activity in certain parts of the brain.
The study also notes there was no trade-off between speed and accuracy of response — the video game players were better on both measures.
The paper, “Video Game Players Have Improved Decision-Making Abilities and Enhanced Brain Activities,” was published in the journal Neuroimage: Reports.