Playing Video Games Increases Children's Cognitive Ability?

First Posted: Sep 13, 2016 04:40 AM EDT

Parents have always been wondering how much time children should be allowed to play computer games. Well, this may just be the something that will help you decide. A new study has revealed that playing video games for an hour every week may help children increase their cognitive abilities.

The Indian Express reported that the study, published in the journal Annals of Neurology, observed 2,442 children between the ages 7 and 11 years old. The study concluded that letting children play video games for an hour every week can help children obtain higher scores in school as well as improve their motor skills.

"Video gaming is neither good nor bad, but its level of use makes it so," said Jesus Pujol, a doctor at the Hospital del Mar in Spain. Pujol and his colleagues studied the relationship between weekly use of video games and specific cognitive abilities and conduct-related problems. The research team discovered a connection between the amount of time spent on playing video games and the children's behavioral problems, social skills, and conflicts with their peers.

In a report by BGR, these were the problem researchers observed to be highly recognizable among children who play video games for more than 9 hours a week. Researchers have concluded that it mostly has negative effects.

According to, after going through the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the brains of a subgroup of children, researchers noticed that gaming was connected with changes in the basal ganglia white matter and functional connectivity in the brain. "Gaming use was associated with a better function in brain circuits critical for learning based on the acquisition of new skills through practice," Pujol explained.

Meanwhile, children's motor skills are usually acquired the traditional way through actions such as doing sports or outdoor games. However, Neuroimaging research claimed that training using desktop virtual environments can also modulate the brain system responsible for motor skill learning.

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