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Research gives insight on your brain on video games

Are video games more harmful for children?

In case you haven't heard, video games are bad for your brain. We have new research that proves this point again.

Rocket News 24 has reported that Tohoku University, a Japanese institution, reportedly conducted a three-year study on a wide-range of children in order to investigate the effects of video games on child development,

To conduct their research, the group monitored 240 children (114 boys and 126 girls) aged five to 18 over a period of three years, recording how much time they spent playing video games, and studying their brain development via MRI scans.

After the end of three years, the researchers observed that the children who played video games for an extended period on a daily basis had slower development in their language function, along with a negative impact on their prefrontal cortex (responsible for executive functions), the caudate nucleus (responsible for movement), and the hippocampus (responsible for memory).

The researchers also reported that while video games did have a positive influence on the children’s spatial perception, the dopamine their brains produced while playing the games acted like a drug and made the children addicted to playing, potentially negating the positive effects.

It is no surprise that video games can be harmful, especially for younger children. It is surprising, however, to see that video actually have a negative impact on memory and movement, which are two parts of the brain that definitely seem to be related to actually playing video games. 

The research indicates something that most people already know: too many video games are bad for your health. While these results can definitely be harmful for a child, and monitoring a child's activity is a must for parents, there are also many good reasons to engage in playing video games. Most who champion the positive effects of video games also often cite research stating that games improve hand-eye coordination.

While this research does present rather dire circumstances for the development of children, limiting access to video games is important for anyone no matter the age. There are definitely great reasons for everyone to be able to enjoy video games.

Published Jan. 8th 2016

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