Playing video games linked to better cognitive performance in children

FRIDAY, Oct. 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Children who play video games show better cognitive performance involving response inhibition and working memory than children who don’t play video games, according to a published study. online October 24 in Open JAMA Network.

Bader Chaarani, Ph.D., of the University of Vermont at Burlington, and colleagues examined the association between video games and cognition in children using data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study ( 2,217 children).

Researchers found that video gamers performed better on both functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tasks (response inhibition and working memory) compared to participants who did not play video games. A greater blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal on functional MRI was detected in video gamers in the precuneus during inhibitory control. A smaller BOLD signal was observed in video gamers in parts of the occipital cortex and calcarine sulcus and a larger BOLD signal was observed in the cingulate, middle and frontal gyri and the precuneus during working memory tasks.

“Although scores on the Child Behavior Checklist were elevated among children who played video games for three or more hours a day, the results raise the intriguing possibility that video gaming may provide an experience cognitive training with measurable neurocognitive effects,” the authors write.

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