Gamers rock larger grey matter and enhanced cognitive function, study reveals!

Gamers rejoice! Gaming mastery is an indicator of a better-connected brain.

This is the conclusion of recent research on the cognitive function of Action Video Gamers (AVGs) of different degrees of competency.  AVG gamers are mostly national or regional champions at AVG competitions.

Action video games subject gamers to different physical challenges. These challenges include reaction-time and hand-eye coordination games.

An abundance of evidence already exists that shows that expert AVG players have superior cognitive ability to amateurs.

This proof inspired the Dezhong Yao-led research team to examine the brain activities of expert and amateur gamers.  The research team hoped to find the difference between the two sets of brains.

The researchers conducted MRI scans on the brains of 30 layman gamers and 27 expert gamers.

The MRI’s focused on networks contained in a region of the brain called the insular cortex.  This region of the brain is associated with motor control, cognitive functioning, and perception.

The study revealed that amateur gamers have less functional connectivity in the hemisphere of their brain than the expert.

As shown in the image below, you can see the brain’s left and right hemispheres and the areas where there is an existence of connections. The bold, white lines, depicted where the expert gamers have enormous enhancements over the amateurs.

expert gamers have more grey matter

Diagram of locations of superior connections in brains of expert AVG games when compared to amateur gamers

The areas of superior connection unsurprisingly hugely appeared in the left hemisphere of the brain – the region responsible for logic, objective thinking, and calculations. This clearly indicates why expert gamers are superior problem-solvers within action video games.

It was also discovered that there is an abundance of grey matter in the brain of experts than those of amateurs.  Especially in the central insular sulcus and left insular cortex.

Grey matter is a processor of information in the brain. Naturally, the gamer with more grey matter can more effectively process data.

The evidence suggests that you can increase the amount of grey matter in your brain. If you practice you too can become an expert gamer… and have a better connected brain!

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