Medical News Today – which of course is on our morning website checklist – is reporting that male video gamers use a different section of their brain to solve problems requiring visuomotor skills, and thus may be training themselves to better perform laparoscopic surgery.
The study, published in the October 2010 issue of Elsevier’s Cortex, examined the brain activity of 13 gaming veteran males against 13 non-gamer males (or “noob”, to use the proper medical term), as they had to perform “a series of increasingly difficult visuomotor tasks, such as using a joystick or looking one way while reaching another way.”
While the report doesn’t specifically say the gamers performed the tasks better, it did find that while the non-gamers used the hand-eye coordination section of their brains, the gamers’ brain activity centered around the prefrontal cortex – which may or may not be the cortex responsible for teabagging.
It’s not the first time gaming skills have been found to carry over into real life, the oft-quoted study being the one that found surgeons make 37% less mistakes if they game at least 3 hours a week – but this new study hopes that because “using visuomotor skills can reorganize how the brain works offers hope for future research into the problems experienced by Alzheimer’s patients, who struggle to complete the simplest visuomotor tasks.”
[Elsevier’s Cortex, via Medical News Today]