Playing 3-D video games can improve your ability to form memories and may benefit your brain as you age, researchers report.
“It’s often suggested that an active, engaged lifestyle can be a real factor in stemming cognitive [mental] aging. While we can’t all travel the world on vacation, we can do many other things to keep us cognitively engaged and active. Video games may be a nice, viable route,” study co-author Craig Stark, from the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory at the University of California, Irvine, said in a university news release.
The researchers tracked non-gamer college students who played either a 2-D or 3-D video game 30 minutes a day for two weeks.
Before and after the two-week period, the students were given a memory test designed to engage the hippocampus, the region of the brain associated with complex learning and memory. Those who played the 3-D game showed improvement on the memory test, while those who played the 2-D game did not, the investigators found.
Memory performance among those who played the 3-D game improved about 12 percent, the same amount it normally declines between ages 45 and 70, according to the study authors.