Improve your brain with video games

Improve your brain with video games

A video game is a type of electronic game. It is played through a user interface such as a joystick or gamepad. The game can be viewed on the device’s built-in display or an external display such as a TV or computer monitor. Video games can be played on a television or computer. But, nowadays the trend of playing them on mobile phones is increasing continuously. People play video games often for fun, but some video games can improve your brain activity. This may be due to the enrichment of the virtual environment while playing a video game and the stimulation it gives to brain functions.


Brain activity and environment

Our brain is made up of many nerve cells. These nerve cells connect to form a nerve net. These nerve cells are responsible for sensory processing, control of muscle movements (motor control), automatic bodily processes, emotional reactions, and sensations. This is the reason why brain functions depend on the behavior of nerve cells. present in the part of the brain called the cerebral cortex Nerve cells are mainly responsible for attention, perception, awareness, thoughts, memories, language, and consciousness. The functional development of the cerebral cortex depends on environmental stimulation and can also be achieved through environmental enrichment.

Environmental enrichment is the process of influencing brain function. For this, the physical and social resources around the brain become the means of its stimulation. There is also a higher rate of synapsis between nerve cells within the brain and more complex dendritic branches in more cultured and stimulating environments. That is, the brain becomes more active. Therefore, ambient culture can help prevent many brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s (amnesia) and dementia (dementia). It can also increase the cognitive capacity of the brain. It is the ability through which the brain continues to function normally while dealing with ever-increasing damage.

Canadian psychologist Donald O. Hebb discovered in 1947 that domesticated rats passed a test for problem-solving more than rats raised in cages. American psychologist Mark Rosenzweig at Berkeley’s California 1960 Was doing some similar experiments at university. They kept rats in two types of cages. In the first type of cage, rats were placed between toys, stairs, tunnels, and moving wheels. While the other cages were of the normal type. Rosenzweig found that rats kept in the first type of cage had a greater volume of cerebral cortex than rats kept in normal cages. This was due to the increased activity of an enzyme called cholinesterase.

Cultured environments influence the expression of genes (genes) that determine neural structure in the cerebral cortex and hippocampal regions of the brain. On a molecular level, the effects of cultured environments lead to an increase in the concentration of chemicals called neurotrophins (NGFs), NT-3, and changes in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This changes the level of activity of some cholinergic neuron cells (these are the nerve cells that primarily use a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine (ACh) to transmit messages). 

A 2011 study concluded that environmental enrichment significantly improves the cognitive abilities of children with autism. This research indicates that environmental enrichment may be effective in ameliorating the motor muscle and psychiatric deficits caused by Huntington’s disease. A 2013 study suggests that environmental enrichment is also beneficial for patients recovering from trauma. Therefore, it is scientifically proven that environmental enrichment can help improve the cognitive functions of the brain. It is possible to do the same using video games.


 Video games and brain activity

 Just as environmental enrichment can improve brain function, some video games can also improve the cognitive functioning of the brain.

It has been observed that children who play video games develop more cognitive abilities and learning abilities. This is because video games can provide virtual enrichment of the environment to the brain. In a research conducted at Yale University in the US, researchers found that children who play video games are always better at learning.

Your mind is yours… if you don’t use it, you will lose it! Age-related brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease may increase in people who do not work on brain activities. Research suggests that people who solve puzzles and play board games (snake-ladder or chess etc.) are less likely to get Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, people who play board games and solve puzzles on their computers or mobiles have a lower risk of developing neurological diseases. This is because these games and puzzles enhance the cognitive capacity of the brain by providing better environmental enrichment. 

Cognitive and social development is also slow in people or children living in social isolation. They do not get the necessary environmental stimuli for the proper development of the brain. But such people can enhance their brain capacity by playing real-life games, sims4, or other games like this. These games give the experience of such a virtual environment which is similar to social life.

Video games that solve vocabulary puzzles such as Bizzweld, Tetris, Solitaire, and Scrabble can improve learning ability and memory development.

In addition to Alzheimer’s disease, some video games can also treat mental disorders such as ADHD. Games like Project Evo and Akeley have also been designed to treat ADHD, but these are yet to be approved by the FDA. Videos are also a great way to reduce stress. Studies conducted on people born in this century show that video games help reduce mental stress. Researchers working in the behavioral sciences of the Netherlands have found that video games reduce mental stress. The National Bio-Technological Information Institute, located in Bethesda, Maryland, US, has also published regarding the positive effects of video games on cognitive functions of the brain.


Video game preference

The Entertainment Software Rating Board of America (ESRB) ranks video games by age group. The ESRB ranks video games designed for all ages in the ‘E’ category. Video games for people over the age of 10 are given ‘E10+’ preference. Sports that are for people over the age of 17 are in Category ‘M’. Similarly, video games designed for the age group above 18 years are counted in the ‘A’ category. If people play games made for their age group according to this order of preference, then there will be no psychological harm from them. But many times people play them by accessing replicas of games that are not suitable for their age group or it is possible to download such games without spending any money. Thus video games that are inappropriate for their age group can be psychologically harmful.


Future of video games

The emergence of new technologies has taken the video game experience to new levels. Earlier people could play these games only on devices made for video games, but now smartphones have become the main medium for video games. In addition to gamepads and touchscreens, video games can now be played with just gestures. That is, you can control these games by shaking hands. With this technology, video games have become more accessible and people of all age groups can play them. Virtual reality (VR) is another technology revolutionizing video games fundamentally. It allows any video game to be played in a three-dimensional environment using the headset. In virtual reality video games, the user finds himself in the game environment. The technology of virtual reality is used not only in video games but also for simulation i.e. artificial perception and training.

It is also possible to use virtual reality in teaching. For example, doctors can be taught surgery through simulation video games.

Virtual reality is capable of giving a real impression of the feeling of things. There is another technology called brain-computer interface (BCI), in which the brain can communicate with the computer through the headset. This is possible with the help of electric waves.

As technology advances, video games are becoming more enjoyable and useful. If you choose the right video games, you can also improve brain function.

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