Playing 3D Video games can improve your memory

By January 5, 2016News

Playing 3D video games can improve your memory: Tests show they can improve your recall by 12 per cent in two weeks

  • Researchers found roaming through digital environments boosts recall
  • It could be stimulating the hippocampus, a brain area in charge of memory
  • Video-games could be used as a treatment for age-related memory loss 

Spending hours tinkering with Angry Birds is great fun, but playing three dimensional computer games like Call of Duty or Super Mario 3D World could help to improve your memory.

Researchers at the University of California Irvine (UCI) found that playing three-dimensional video games helps people perform better at memory tests.

The discovery could be used to devise new approaches to prevent or treat dementia and memory loss.

Some of the participants were given the popular two-dimensional game Angry Birds, while the others played the convoluted 3D game Super Mario 3D World.

All of the subjects took memory tests before and after the two weeks of gaming.

‘First, the 3-D games have a few things the 2-D ones do not,’ said Professor Stark.

The results showed a marked difference between the two groups of gamers – students who had been playing the 3D video game hugely improved their performances after two weeks, while the change was absent in the 2D-game players.

In the 3D batch, the boost was by a whopping 12 per cent- the same difference in recalling ability between a person of 45 and one of 70.

The rationale behind the experiment was grounded in a previous studies conducted on rodents, which have shown that when mice explore a maze, they develop new neurons in the hippocampus region, and their memory improves.

Video games that allow the player to roam in a three-dimensional world could be behaving like digital versions of mouse-mazes, whereas 2D video games lack that complexity.