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Brain scans reveal surprising ‘truth’ about kids who spend hours playing video games

VIDEO games boost kids’ brain power, according to a study.

Youngsters who play games for three hours per day perform better than non-gamers in tests of memory and thinking speed.

Scientists said parents worry about their children gaming but it may have benefits

Scientists say quickfire challenges train their brains to be more “efficient” at processing information.

Around 70 per cent of eight to 24-year-olds in the UK play online games, Ofcom figures show.

Experts at the University of Vermont used data from surveys, brain scans and thinking tests of 2,000 nine and ten-year-olds in the US.

The gamers had faster reaction times and were better at memorising information than kids who never played.

Scans showed they also had more activity in their brains’ grey matter – clumps of nerves that are vital for intelligence, senses and emotions.

Dr Nora Volkow, of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said: “Studies have linked video gaming to behaviour and mental health problems but this study suggests that there may also be benefits.”

The research, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, found no proof that gamers were more likely to be violent or develop depression.

It said different types of games could have different effects on the brain – and it was still important not to spend too much time online.



Study author Dr Bader Chaarani added: “This is an encouraging finding and one that we must continue to investigate as these children transition into adolescence and young adulthood.

“Many parents today are concerned about the effects of video games on their children so it is crucial that we better understand both the positive and negative impact they may have.”

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