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Study: Are Video Games Really Beneficial to Children's Health

A study: On the other hand, video games are also beneficial for children's health. All studies do not compile a balance sheet against video games, some on the contrary show their benefits in certain cases.

For years, video games were globally regarded as a subversive act, sometimes harmful to the attention or brain development of children and young players. This will even be the origin of the development of behavioral disorders involving tendencies of social isolation and violence.

However, not all research falls into this type of cliché, and more and more are citing video games as a means of stimulating certain brain areas for beneficial effects in the sick and the elderly as well as in the young. Many programs rely on video games in a therapeutic context to treat behavioral problems (ADHD) or autism.

A recent American study went in this direction: conducted on more than 2200 children, it highlighted benefits on the cognitive development of subjects.


Video games stimulate cognitive performance

Researchers at the University of Vermont at Burlington have focused specifically on the relationship between video games and cognitive behavior. They relied on data from an earlier study called ABCD, which currently follows more than 12,000 young to adult people in the US.

Thus, the study regularly updates the follow-up of participants' brain activity via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the aim of which is to determine and study the factors that have an influence on brain development, socio-emotional and cognitive.

Thus, the researchers kept data from 2,217 children who participated in the program, aged 9 to 10 years. Two groups were created: the first never played video games, the second if at a rate of 3 hours a day.

The 3 hour figure was chosen specifically because it exceeds the American Academy of Pediatrics screen time guideline of 2 hours.

During tests aimed at evaluating the ability to control impulsive behavior and to remember information, the brain activity of both groups was examined via MRI. Groups of players are thus more precise in two tasks than non-players.

Gamers' brain activity was higher than non-gamers in brain regions associated with attention and memory. In addition, it was determined that the players had more developed frontal activity (while this area was dedicated to more demanding tasks) and less developed in the brain regions associated with vision. Thus, the researchers established a reduction in visuomotor cognitive costs associated with video game practice.

Studies must continue to determine whether the practice of video games is the cause of these changes, or whether patients have predispositions that naturally encourage them to switch to the practice of video games.

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