In a reversal of the previously held consensus, a new research study from Vermont University in the United States has come to the conclusion that playing video games may improve kids intelligence.
According to the British tabloid newspaper Daily Mail, the researchers doing the study found that children averaging over three hours per day on videogames were noticeably better at memory and cognitive tests than their those not playing games.
Dr Nora Volkow, who is currently the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the institution that funded the study, told journalists at the newspaper, “Numerous studies have linked video gaming to behaviour and mental health problems. This study suggests that there may also be cognitive benefits associated with this popular pastime, which are worthy of further investigation.”
The study, which has been published in the JAMA Network Open journal included data from 2,078 US-based children. It was analysed with 1,278 saying they’d never played video games while the minority of 800 said they did play video games for at least three hours a day.
The core research findings suggest that playing video games may (1) improve the child’s attention span; and (2) improve impulse control because repetition and the practice of specific skills are required to succeed in the game. In-short, the games could be teaching the child’s brain.
Dr Bader Chaarani, who is the psychiatrist leading the study stated, “While we cannot say whether playing video games regularly caused superior neuro-cognitive performance, it’s an encouraging finding and one we must continue to investigate in these children as they transition into adolescence and adulthood.”
This is a big about turn over the previously held consensus.
The data used in the research study was analysed by a team between October 2019 and October 2020.