Action Video Games Expand the Brain’s Cognitive Abilities

Psychologists have combined and analyzed studies on action video games from the last fifteen years to measure the real impact these games have on the cognitive abilities of the human brain.


The human brain is extremely adaptable. It learns and adapts to new things. Various research studies have concentrated on the effect of action video games on the cerebrum by measuring intellectual capacities, for example, discernment, consideration, and response time.

A new study by the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, has assembled data from the last fifteen years to quantify how action video games impact cognition.

Analysts have been examining the effect of video games on the mind as far back as the late 80s when Pacman and arcade amusements initially took root. The present investigation concentrates on one particular video game classification, activity video (war or shooter) amusements that have for some time been considered mind-desensitizing. Do they impact the intellectual aptitudes of players?

Daphné Bavelier, professor in the Psychology Section at UNIGE’s Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences (FPSE), said, “We decided to assemble all the relevant data from 2000 to 2015 in an attempt to answer this question, as it was the only way to have a proper overview of the real impact of action video games.”

For the study, scientists contacted over sixty professors, asking them for any unpublished data that might throw light on the role of action video games. Two meta-analyses emerged from the research.

An aggregate of 8,970 people between the ages of 6 and 40, including activity gamers and non-gamers, took various psychometric tests in ponders led by research centers all over the world with the point of assessing their intellectual capacities.

The appraisals included spatial consideration (e.g., rapidly distinguishing a puppy in a crowd of creatures) and, in addition, surveying their abilities to deal with various undertakings at the same time and changing their plans as indicated by pre-decided guidelines. It was discovered that the insight of gamers was better by one-portion of a standard deviation contrasted with non-gamers.

Benoit Bediou, a researcher in the FPSE Psychology Section, said, “However, this first meta-analysis failed to answer a crucial question. We needed to think about what the typical gamer profile is. Do they play action-type video games because they already have certain cognitive skills that make them good players; Or, on the contrary, are their high cognitive abilities actually developed by playing games?”

The psychologists continued investigating mediation ponders as a major aspect of the second meta-examination. 2,883 individuals (men and ladies) who played for a greatest of one hour seven days were first tried for their intellectual capacities and afterward arbitrarily isolated into two gatherings: one played activity amusements (war or shooter recreations), the other played control diversions (SIMS, Puzzle, Tetris).

The two gatherings played for no less than 8 hours over a week and up to 50 hours more than 12 weeks. Toward the finish of the preparation, members experienced subjective testing to quantify any adjustments in their intellectual capacities.

Bavelier said, “The aim was to find out whether the effects of action gaming on the brain are causal. That’s why these intervention studies always compare and contrast a group that is obliged to play an action game with one obliged to play a video control game, where the mechanics are very different.”

“This active control group ensures that the effects resulting from playing action games really do result from the nature of this kind of game. In other words, they are not due to being part of a group that is asked to undertake an engrossing task or that is the center of scientific attention (placebo effect).”

“The research, which was carried out over several years all over the world, proves the real effects of action video games on the brain and paves the way for using active video games to expand cognitive abilities.”

Regardless of the uplifting news for energetic gamers, it merits featuring that these valuable impacts were seen in examines that requested that people space their amusement play out finished a time of numerous weeks to months as opposed to taking part in a lot of gaming in a solitary sitting. As is valid in any learning activity, short episodes of rehashed rehearsing are greatly favored over gorging!

The two meta-examinations, which secured fifteen years of research, underline the significance of sharing information between various labs, keeping in mind the end goal to approve comes about on a worldwide level without agony from predispositions particular to each analysis and working gathering.

Also, these meta-examinations help to enhance our comprehension of the mind’s pliancy and conceivably make amusements particularly intended to create consideration or spatial cognizance.

Journal Reference

  1. Bediou, B., Adams, D. M., Mayer, R. E., Tipton, E., Green, C. S., & Bavelier, D. (2018). Meta-analysis of action video game impact on perceptual, attentional, and cognitive skills. Psychological Bulletin, 144(1), 77–110. DOI: 10.1037/bul0000130
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