Researchers report that the children engaging in playing 3D video games have an improved spatial and cognitive memory that is higher than children playing 2D video games.
Many parents today are not entirely happy with the way their children are hooked on playing video games. Most studies have reported that video games have adverse effects on the minds of the children. The new research however suggests results on the contrary.
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Researchers from the University of California at Irvine’s Department of Neurobiology and Behaviour recently published a study in the Journal of Neuroscience. In the study, the researchers conducted a series of experiments.
The experiments included children playing video games in 3D and 2D. The objective of the experiments was to see if the 3D element or some sort of immersion was the factor responsible for boosting the brain’s memories.
One experiment asked subjects to play Super Mario 3D World and Angry Birds for at 30 minutes daily over the course of two weeks. Another monitored a group of players playing League of Legends in 3D and Super Smash Brothers Brawl in 2D.
Once the experiments’ duration was over, the subjects were then tested on an image-based memory tests. In the tests, the subjects were asked to remember a set of images and say whether an image in a following set was included in the first.
According to Motherboard, the subjects were also asked to navigate through a virtual version of a Morris water maze, which tests for spatial learning and memory.
After analyzing the data, the researchers found out that the subjects who played 3D games performed better on those memory tests than those who only played 2D games. The subjects playing 3D games had an increasing memory response on an average chart while those playing 2D video games had a consistently average memory response.
The researchers explain that the improving memory by playing 3D video games is due to stimulation of the hippocampus. The part of the cortex that is responsible for making memories.
The 3D stimulation engages the hippocampus into activity and helps in spatial navigation and memory formation. The brain activity is heightened causing a more interactive learning than the one experienced during playing 2D video games.
While the 3D games are beneficial for triggering a larger part of the brain and helping in memory formation, they are not equivalent to the memory building games that are designed specifically for that purpose. The researchers suggest that parents should not be confused by both types of the games and give both their equal importance.