Video gamers have better decision-making skills, says study

Almost all of us have got scolded for playing too much video games. Doesn’t matter if it is an all-guns-blazing frenzy or careful, methodic manoeuvres in a strategy game, the interruptions from our folks have been plentiful. That video games improve hand-eye coordination is not a reason enough for anyone to let us play in peace.

Now, there is another reason in favor of playing video games. researchers have found that video games improve decision-making skills and even have a positive effect on a region of the brain that takes care of this function.

“Video games are played by the overwhelming majority of our youth more than three hours every week, but the beneficial effects on decision-making abilities and the brain are not exactly known,” said lead researcher Mukesh Dhamala, associate professor in Georgia State’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and the university’s Neuroscience Institute. He was quoted by SciTechDaily.

“Our work provides some answers on that,” Dhamala said. “Video game playing can effectively be used for training — for example, decision-making efficiency training and therapeutic interventions — once the relevant brain networks are identified.”

The research was carried out by Georgia State University in the US. Tom Jordan, the lead author of the project who was advised by Dhamala, had a personal story to share.

Jordan had low vision in one of his eyes in his childhood. He was advised by doctors to play video games with a blindfold on stronger eye. The vision in his weaker eye improved.

During the research, researchers chose 28 college students who were video game players and 19 who did not.

Using FMRI machine, brain activity of subjects was monitored while they played a simple test game. It was found that gamers were quicker in their responses and more accurate.

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