The brain has a limited amount of energy, so when we're doing something mentally demanding, our attention often wanders. But researchers at the University of California, San Diego found that after only an hour of gaming, participants' brains were better able to focus on tasks.
The researchers found that after only one hour of gaming, participants showed improved performance on tests of sustained attention and working memory.
"The findings suggest that even brief periods of intense engagement with cognitively challenging activities can lead to lasting improvements in brain function," said researcher David Zayas, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at UC San Diego.
Better Than Non-Gamers
They also found that gamers were more likely to perform better than non-gamers when they had to switch between tasks.
In addition to improving attention, researchers say gaming has other benefits. It helps people learn how to solve complex problems, such as those encountered in math and science classes. And it can help people who struggle with social skills.
This suggests that video game play may help us learn how to multitask.
Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that when people played a simple computer game for only one hour, they were able to better concentrate than when they didn't play. They also had more energy and felt less tired.
Achievement & Productivity
The researchers found that after only one hour of gaming, participants were able to perform better on tests designed to measure their attention span.
"The results suggest that even brief periods of intense engagement with a cognitively demanding task can lead to improvements in cognitive performance," said Dr. David Creswell, coauthor of the study. "This finding has implications for both academic achievement and work productivity."
They also showed improved performance on tasks requiring sustained attention.
In addition to improving concentration, researchers found that gamers performed better on tests of memory and reasoning than non-gamers.
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