brain lit up gamer

Study Finds Differences in Brains of Boys Who Game Often

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A collaborative study between the University of Utah School of Medicine and Chung-Ang University in South Korea has found a correlation between adolescent boys who play games and enhanced coordination between the brain networks that process vision and hearing, and those which govern attention span.

“Hyper-connectivity between these brain networks could lead to a more robust ability to direct attention toward targets, and to recognize novel information in the environment,” says senior author Jeffrey Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of neuroradiology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. “The changes could essentially help someone to think more efficiently.”

They may also lead to greater distractibility, however. “Most of the differences we see could be considered beneficial. However the good changes could be inseparable from problems that come with them,” Anderson noted.

The correlation does not necessarily mean causation—it’s possible that people who are wired in a certain way are simply more drawn to gaming, rather than gaming being a factor in causing the brain differences. (I know that personally, my easy distractibility makes video games a nice retreat, since there’s a lot going on in a game to keep my attention and help me relax. Other activities function similarly for me; drawing while simultaneously watching television, for example.)

It’s also worth noting that there have not yet been any followup studies to see whether the boys who exhibited brain differences do any better on performance tests, so we don’t yet know whether the results of this research indicate that these differences have any impact on day-to-day life.

girl playing Project Evo educational games

Project Evo Wants to Be the First FDA-Approved Game

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Project Evo is aiming to be the first video game to ever be FDA-approved, NPR reports. The game is focused on therapy for cognitive disorders such as ADHD, autism, and depression. There’s a chance that it could help diagnose Alzheimer’s during clinical trials, which would cut down costs significantly—the team has partnered with Pfizer to this end.

However, while there are tons of therapeutic video games out there, developers don’t typically go for FDA approval. There are a lot of reasons why that is. Read More

screen time limits

Screen Time Concerns: Setting Limits on Video Game Time

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This article originally appeared on LearningWorksForKids.com, a site dedicated to talking about games and technology in relation to “alternative learners,” which includes kids with learning disabilities, dyslexia, autism, and ADHD.  In this post, Dr. Randy Kulman gives advice on how to set practical limits on your kids’ video game time.

I am a child clinical psychologist, and while my five children might argue that you could find better advice elsewhere (I do know that they love me, anyway), the parents of my patients often ask me for recommendations on child-rearing practices. One of the most common questions they ask is how to limit kids’ video game, social media, and technology use. I routinely caution parents that they need to recognize the individuality of each of their children and tailor their parenting approach accordingly, but there are some general rules that apply to all children when it comes to video game and technology use. You might think that as the founder of an educational technology company, my answer to queries about limiting digital play would be, “Don’t.” This is not the case! Read More

kids playing wii

Treating ADHD with Video Games and Exercise

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This article originally appeared on LearningWorksForKids.com, a site dedicated to talking about games and technology in relation to “alternative learners,” which includes kids with learning disabilities, dyslexia, autism, and ADHD. We’re excited to have a relationship with LearningWorks For Kids where we will be cross-posting articles and supporting each other in emphasizing the positive aspects of gaming and technology. In this post, Dr. Randy Kulman talks about how gaming and exercise can help kids with ADHD. Read More