US study indicates that online activity like gaming can give a mental edge
Studies in Canada last year that showed that senior citizens benefitted mentally from participation in online activities (see previous InfoPowa report) have been complemented by studies in the United States which indicate that the same positive effects apply to students.
The December issue of the British science journal 'Perception' reported on a study carried out by US psychology researcher Rolf Nelson at Wheaton College, Illinois which suggested that online gaming may have a positive influence on the development of the human brain.
In Nelson's study, 20 students regularly played online games and showed signs that such activity can boost cognitive ability in different key areas.
The 20 students were presented with a spatial relations problem both before and after playing either a strategy or action game. In the second test, participants who had played the action game were found to have completed the task much faster than during their first attempt, while those who played the strategy game reportedly finished the task with a far greater degree of accuracy the second time around.
Nelson concluded that playing action games can improve cognitive speed, while puzzle and strategy games may enhance cognitive accuracy in the long-term – with the results showing strong evidence to support both claims.
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