MONTREAL — A new study by the University of Montreal has found that different types of games can impact the human brain both positively and negatively.
The research looked at the effect of gameplay on the hippocampus and the caudate [f]nucleus. It was published this month in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
The first is responsible for emotions, learning and memory formation, the latter helps us form habits and routines. Routines such as when to eat, exercise or get home from work and how to reward yourself for your behavior are stored in the caudate nucleus.
Participants in the videogame study played games for between 2 and 4 hours, 3 times a week, for up to 12 hours per week, resulting in 90 hours of gameplay time.
The study found the hippocampus shrank after 90 hours of action and shooter gaming because players used their caudate nucleus more to play and navigate.
However, the reverse was true for those playing 3-D platform games. After 90 hours, researchers saw an increase in the gray matter in their hippocampi.
But University of Oxford Professor Andrew Przybylski[g], points out the study lacks statistical power and the framing of harm may mislead readers.
"The interpretation of harm, although attention-grabbing, was not peer-reviewed and appears to have been introduced afterwards," Przybylski told the Mirror.