Study Suggests Video Games Like ‘Call of Duty’ Enhances Cognitive Performance

First Posted: Jun 07, 2016 07:10 AM EDT

Call of Duty, an action video game, may be an efficient way of enhancing the cognitive performance of healthy adults. This new meta-analysis was recently published in Frontiers in Psychology.

The study on Call of Duty was initially based on the previous Chinese Academy of Sciences, which has been published 20 years ago, yet was used by the researchers for the analysis. It also includes trials that only involved action video games that were conducted in healthy adults in a sufficient control group. Ultimately, the search made twenty studies.

For each study, the participants were asked to play video games, and then complete different tasks made to evaluate their cognitive function. The studies went on for weeks up to months. Over those different periods, the participants played the video game Call of Duty as well as other games like  Unreal Tournament and Medal of Honor for an average of time of 22 hours.

After combining the results of each study to form a large analysis that involve 600 participants, the researchers discovered that action games generated a moderate helpful effect on the overall cognition. Mental functions like attention and processing speed, memory and executive function have shown improvement over controls, Futurity reported.

Based on the results, the authors took note of the fact that the action video game requires fast and precise responses, attention and the capability to focus on several targets. They also mentioned past research that suggests playing video games may produce structural changes in the brain. In general, younger adults have greater cognitive benefits from action video games, in which the researchers linked to greater neural plasticity.

In the past, parents would always consider video games as those that can only "rot the brains." But after two decades of study, the findings have proven otherwise. Instead of rotting the brain, action video games appear to improve it.

Meantime, the majority of the 155 million American video gamers do not play for the cognitive benefits, but just for fun. But based on the study, improvement of brain function is likely to be earned as a bonus, according to IGN.

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