Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Violent Video Games Boost Brain Power

By Nancy J. White

For 10 hours, Kathrin Herzhoff fired automatic weapons while storming beaches, patrolling jungles and shooting down enemy aircraft.

It was all in the name of science. Before and after she trained on the video game Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault, her brain waves were measured at a University of Toronto lab.

“It was a steep learning curve, but I felt I improved a fair bit,” says Herzhoff, a graduate student in psychology. She doesn’t usually play video games, much less bloody first-person shooter games like this one. Yet this action genre, often decried for its mind-numbing violence, is emerging as a hot research topic in an unexpected area.

Scientists have found that virtual war games may boost brain power.


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