According to the results of a study published in Nature, gaming could possibly increase the volume of gray matter in the brain.
Researchers recently studied the insular cortex regions of frequent gamers and those who didn’t play video games as regularly.
The study found a correlation between playing action video games and increased gray matter volume in the brain.
Do you ever feel you could do with polishing up on your cognitive skills?
Well, according to the results of a study published in Nature, gaming could possibly be the way forward.
Researchers from the Chinese University of Electronic Science and Technology and the Australian Macquarie University in Sydney joined forces, and recently found a correlation between playing action video games and increased gray matter volume in the brain.
How video games stimulate the gray matter in your brain
The focus of the team’s research was on the insular cortex, a part of the cerebral cortex folded deep in the brain that has been the subject of very few studies to date.
It’s thought that a large part of linguistic processing takes place in this region of the brain, and that other processes relating to taste and smell, compassion and empathy, and interpersonal experiences are also managed here.
The study looked at 27 regular video game players described in the study as “Action Video Game experts” as well as 30 amateurs who played less frequently and didn’t perform as well in games.
The participants in the “expert” group were all recognised participants of regional or national championships of League of Legends and Dota 2. Using an MRI scanner, the scientists took detailed pictures of the participants’ insular cortices.
“By comparing AVG experts and amateurs, we found that AVG experts had enhanced functional connectivity and gray matter volume in insular subregions,” wrote the research team.
Gaming actually promotes networking within the brain
The gray matter in your brain is part of your central nervous system and essentially controls all your brain’s functions.
It follows that better connectivity in this region will lead to faster thought processes and correspondingly higher intelligence.
If you want to improve your cognitive performance, you don’t necessarily have to resort to hours of video games; sports and art-based recreation are just two among many activities that promote connectivity in the brain.
However it does mean that those who still like to sit in front of their console from time to time no longer need to feel guilty about being sat in front of a screen — after all, it is exercise — just for the brain.