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Researchers: Video games may not improve cognition, so put that EFFIN CONTROLLER DOWN NOW!!!

November 19th, 2011        

Researchers: Video games may not improve cognition

We have seen video games make their way into therapy programs to boost cognition but scientists at the Florida State University’s Department of Psychology are now challenging existing claims as, basically, hogwash.

“Despite the hype, in reality, there is little solid evidence that games enhance cognition at all,” said assistant professor Walter Boot. “The idea that video games could enhance cognition was exciting because it represented one of the few cases in which cognitive training enhanced abilities that weren’t directly practiced,” Boot stated. “But we found no benefits of video game training.” Not only did some of his studies fail to replicate those earlier findings, but “no study has yet met the ‘gold standard’ methods necessary in intervention studies of this sort.”

According to the project group, “a number of influential studies supporting the superior skills of action gamers suffer from a host of methodological flaws.” The researchers claim that “many” studies compared the cognitive skills of frequent gamers to non-gamers and found gamers to be superior. Boot noted that this conclusion does not necessarily mean that their game experience were the reason for better perceptual and cognitive abilities. “It could be that individuals who have the abilities required to be successful gamers are simply drawn to gaming,” they said.

“If people are playing games to improve their cognition, they may be wasting their time,” Boot said. “Play games because you enjoy them, not because they could boost your brain power.”

In a friendly closing note, Boot and fellow researcher Daniel Blakely said that that there may still be a possibility that video games could be beneficial to perceptual and cognitive abilities. However, there is just no evidence for that claim at this time.

SOURCE via Florida States University

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