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Playing video games for one hour a week increases cognitive abilities in children: Study

Children who engage themselves in video games for one hour per week can develop better motor skills and cognitive abilities, a new study reveals.

  • Updated: September 11, 2016 10:49 AM IST
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A new study has revealed that that playing video games for limited time each week may help children in increasing their cognitive abilities. The study was published in journal Annals of Neurology, where 2,442 children aged between 7 to 11 years were studied. According to the study, playing video games for one hour per week can not only improve their motor skills, but also help them achieve higher scores in school.

“Video gaming is neither good nor bad, but its level of use makes it so,” said Jesus Pujol, doctor at the Hospital del Mar in Spain. He and his colleagues tried to investigate the relationship between weekly video game use and certain cognitive abilities and conduct-related problems. The team found that weekly time spent on gaming was linked with their conduct problems, social abilities and peer conflicts. These problems were especially prominent among children who played video games for over nine hours every week, leading to negative effects.

When the investigators looked at magnetic resonance imaging scans of the brains of a subgroup of children, they noted that gaming was linked with changes in basal ganglia white matter and functional connectivity in brain. ALSO READ: Playing action-based video games could boost motor driving skills: Study

“Gaming use was associated with better function in brain circuits critical for learning based on the acquisition of new skills through practice,” Pujol explained. ALSO READ: Study says video games boost teenagers’ intelligence

Children traditionally acquire motor skills through action, for instance in relation to sports and outdoor games. Neuroimaging research suggested that training with desktop virtual environments is also capable of modulating brain systems that support motor skill learning. ALSO READ: Violent video games do not encourage anti-social behaviour: Study

  • Published Date: September 11, 2016 10:48 AM IST
  • Updated Date: September 11, 2016 10:49 AM IST