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.

game dev at computer

Toptal Scholarships for Women Devs

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Toptal is currently offering scholarships to female developers. Any female dev—or aspiring dev—older than 13 can apply. The scholarship is international, and there are no educational requirements.

The scholarship was inspired by recent figures released by tech companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook; women make up only about 16% of the engineering workforce in the tech industry. And when it comes to Open Source, numbers are even worse—women make up only about 6% of users on GitHub. Read More