“Don’t let your children play games. It’s not good for their brains” is a common phrase we hear parents say
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However, it may not be completely true anymore, as a recent study done by Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) shows that while gaming has had negative effects on children’s development, there are also benefits that come along with it.
The study was conducted with 2,000 children aged eight and nine. The children were separated into two groups, one of which played video games for three or more hours (above the recommended screen time) while the other group played no video games at all.
The results? The group of kids who played video games for more than three hours performed better in cognitive tasks.
The children were given two tasks, which tested their ability to control impulsive behaviour and memorise information, while their brain activity were observed.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain imaging showed that the group of kids who played video games had higher brain activity in the regions associated with attention and memory, as well as the frontal region associated with higher cognitive-demanding tasks compared to the group of kids who did not play games at all.
However, it’s also reported that the group of kids who played video games also showed higher probability for behavioural and mental health issues compared to the group of kids who didn’t play video games.
However, the researchers believe that more studies need to be done
The authors of the study emphasised that while these findings are significant, they may not be cause-and-effect, as there is the possibility that children who are good at cognitive tasks may choose to play video games.
They also stated that these results do not mean that children should spend unlimited time on their mobile phones, laptops, or televisions.