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Do video games improve your memory?

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Do video games improve your memory?

Yes.

Video games enhance one's memory.

Recent research enhances the conclusion that video games promote optimism and enhance one's memory based on the stimulation of the brain's hippocampus, which deals with the senses, emotion and, more specifically, memory. When the hippocampus is stimulated from the constant movement and interaction in video games, it creates a better capability to hold information. With evidence that states new interactions within video games increase memory capacity, along with the creation of virtual reality experiences, the claim that video games enhance memory is further supported.

Since video games in fact improve memory capacity through new interactions in games, the new developments in technologies such as virtual reality games are allowing for better support to the statement that video games do enhance memory. The articles "Playing 3D video games can boost your memory", and "Can brain games really improve your memory" and this Ted Talk support these claims. Many neuroscientists originally had differing opinions when discussing the issue of video games and brain activity. After a study in 2015, The Journal of Neuroscience concluded that 3D games could possibly help memory. The findings were if the games were specific to each function in the brain and not just games about fun and adventure that they could "train the brain" into retaining information better. The researchers went on to say that most games in the market today do help the brain function but not in a great way. If the video game was specific to training the brain and its purpose was to actually help memory then yes video games can greatly improve memory.

Origin and Prevalence

Scientists have conducted 116 studies to determine various effects of video games. These studies have shown that video games change the structure of the brain. They increase connections in the parts of the brain that are responsible for visuospatial skills. This can be beneficial, except when video games negatively affect motivation and become addictive. When people are addicted to video games, their brain structures alter affecting the ability to feel pleasure, learn, and motivation from the release of dopamine in the brain.

The articles about video and memory are supported on various levels. The majority of the articles support the video games expanding the brain's neuroplasticity; by making new connections. The stimulation of the hippocampus allows the brain to form memories because of the constant engagement of the brain. The connections developed will allow the individual to apply their knowledge into the real world. In addition, one's memory is stimulated will help them in the long term. Stimulating the brain is proven to be a key aspect to the learning process and forming memories. Most of the video games are designed to make the player engage this brain and form complex learning skills. The skills developed can help with the lack of cognitive decline.For example, studies have proven that playing brain games when younger can prevent or postpone Alzheimer's, because you are "rewiring" the kids brains over short periods of time.

Issues and Analysis

At the University of California Irvine, the neurobiologists performed an experiment to test if 2D video games and/or 3D video games affect memory in a positive way. The experimenters got a group of non-gamer students to participate. To start the experiment, the students took memory tests that would use the hippocampus. They broke them up into two groups. One group played with a "passive two-dimensional environment", Angry Birds, the other group played with an "intricate 3-D setting", Super Mario 3D world. The two groups played these games for thirty minutes every day for two weeks. The group of students playing the 3-D video game improved their results by twelve percent. The students playing 2D games did not improve their scores. Although it is not very clear to the researches what part of the 3D environment allows for the higher percentage of memory. Many researches conclude that because 3D games are much more immersive than say a 2D game, it cause more stimulation in the hippocampus there for causing better memory.

After reading the article Cognitive Training Enhances Intrinsic Brain Connectivity in Childhood from the Journal Neuroscience studies showed that after 20 sessions of working and training children, their working memory capacity increased greatly. The bar graph in the article also states that before the training, the Placebo was around 113 Composite Standardized WIM Scores and the Adaptive part was at about 111 Composite Standardized WIM Scores; after the training the scores changed substantially. The Placebo part received a score of around 116 Composite Standardized WIM Scores and the Adaptive part received a score of about 129 Composite Standardized WIM Scores. This article shows many other ways how videogames can help with memory, especially in children.

C. Shawn Green, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin, suggests that "video games change your brain." With this claim, he goes on to elaborate the positive ways in which video games change a person's structure and performance. Playing video games overtime can lead to higher mental functions such as memory. Around the world, scientists are also investigating the other hidden benefits from playing video games such as visual abilities and required vigilant attention. With prolonged video game playing, three areas of the brain may grow in size: the prefrontal cortex, the right hippocampus, and the cerebellum which are all involved with navigation and motor skill control. This causes an increase in neurotransmitters such as dopamine that strengthens neural circuits enhancing memory.

Sources

Whiteman, Honor. "How Playing 3D Video Games Could Help Boost Memory." Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 12 Dec. 2015, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/303789.php.

Andrews, Robin. "Video Games Shown to Improve Memory and Neural Connectivity in Children." Iflscience, 7 Apr. 2016, www.iflscience.com/brain/computer-games-shown-improve-memory-and-neural-connectivity-children/. Accessed 26 Sept. 2017.

Clemenson, Gregory D., and Craig E.L. Stark. "Virtual Environmental Enrichment through Video Games Improves Hippocampal-Associated Memory." The Journal of Neuroscience, Society for Neuroscience, 9 Dec. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4682779/.

Dockrill, Peter. "Playing 3D Video Games Can Boost Your Memory, Study Finds." Science Alert, 11 Dec. 2015, www.sciencealert.com/playing-3d-video-games-can-boost-your-memory-study-finds. Accessed 26 Sept. 2017.

"Horizon: How video games can change your brain." BBC News, BBC, 16 Sept. 2015, www.bbc.com/news/technology-34255492. Accessed 29 Sept. 2017.

Mcgonigal, Jane, narrator. Gaming Can Make a Better World. Ted, TED Conferences, LLC, www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world/up-next. Accessed 26 Sept. 2017.

Neurotrack Team. "Can Brain Games Really Help Improve Your Memory." Neurotrack, 10 Feb. 2017, blog.neurotrack.com/can-brain-games-really-help-improve-memory/. Accessed 26 Sept. 2017.

Stark, Craig, and Dane Clemenson. "Playing 3-D Video Games Can Boost Memory Formation, UCI Study Finds." UCI News, University of California Irvine, 1 Jan. 4189, news.uci.edu/2015/12/08/playing-3-d-video-games-can-boost-memory-formation-uci-study-finds/.


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