Video games can protect mental health and prevent trauma, addiction

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Video games can protect mental health and prevent trauma, addiction

Video games often mind rotten debt can protect them effectively, based on a series of studies.

The researchers report that a classic Tetris game that seizes spatial and visual systems in the brain to align irregular gamers of polygons seems to manage the power of the mind and store traumatic memories fresh entanglement. These false preserved memories are less likely to be intrusive, painful flashbacks that can contribute to post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, complicated pain, and other psychological problems resurface.

For those struggling with cravings and addiction has other research show that the Tetris’ mental grip can also reduce the intensity of nostalgia and help players fight against the actual addictions.

Although the conclusions are based on small studies in the need to repeat and other research, one thing is clear: potential video game therapy causes few side effects and potential damage. Twenty minutes of Tetris is just fun, if nothing else.

In the words of the authors of a new study, Tetris is a “promising new low-intensity psychiatric intervention. ”

Nintendo Therapy

For Ars readers in the long term, the intervention does not seem so new. In 2009 and 2010, we covered the preparatory work of one of the same principal investigators, clinical psychologist Emily Holmes, who is now at the Karolinska Institute. Early studies, Holmes and colleagues suggested that the Tetris game could interrupt memory processing immediately after a traumatic experience. The return results the authors hypothesized that after a traumatic experience, there is a deviation of several hours, which a visual memory, traumatic “stabilization” can be disrupted. By diverting the visual and spatial processing power of the brain with a fascinating game to introduce Tetris memories can be disturbed over the window, the researchers found.

But these early experiments on the sole basis of the study participants who were “traumatized” by looking at dark images of fatal collisions and the circulation of bloody interventions. In the new study, again directed by Holmes and published in Molecular Psychiatry, researchers tested Tetris therapy to victims of real-life accidents.

Seventy-one patients were recruited within six hours of being involved in a traffic accident arrived in Oxford, UK, the emergency department of the hospital in the study. In all cases, the accidents of the participants met the medical criteria of a traumatic event. That is, each participant “experienced, witnessed, or was faced with an event or events of a death or threat or serious injury. ”

Thirty-seven participants were randomly selected to play 20 minutes of Tetris on the Nintendo DS while they were in the hospital. The remaining 34 just signed their activities while they were in the hospital. They took things like reading, texting, getting care, chatting, or doing crossword puzzles.

A week later, reported Tetris players to hit them, on average, was an intrusive, worrying flashback 8.7 times during the week. The activity journaling group reported an average of 23.3 flashbacks troubling. This suggests that 20 minutes of Tetris flash-back cuts about 62 percent. When the researchers checked back with the participants a month later, they found no statistically significant difference in the overall mental health of the two groups with. But this, the authors, could simply be due to the small, short-term study design. More important and possibly more Tetris studies are needed to assess potential long-term effects.

Health Visualizing

Overall, researchers conclude that the “short, science-based intervention offers a low intensity” could mean the mental health of people who have experienced significant improvement in psychological trauma. And they go, “not just Tetris, but each task high visuospatial requirements is likely to be useful in the process (eg, games like Candy Crush, drawing) to be”.

Such a visuospatial usurper can be helpful not only suggests to victims of trauma, other research. By the end of 2015, a group of English and Australian researchers reported that the Tetris game for addictive food cravings such as nicotine, alcohol and drugs, and other vices, such as food and sex could reduce .

The study, published in Addictive Behavior, followed 31 undergraduate volunteers who wore around iPods for a week and investigations completed seven times a day on their desires. Fifteen of the participants were also able to play three minutes after the Tetris investigations, then report again their desires. When the week went up, researchers found that the Tetris desire force game constantly reduced by 13.9 percent, or about a fifth. This explains the authors, might be enough for those who crave to ignore and avoid their vice.

The researchers examined the hypothesis that the ability of the game to capture visual processing and space in the brain is the key to health benefits. In this case, the addiction and cravings often driven by visual fantasies of having this drink, drug, or whatever you want, the authors explained.

As before, increasingly large studies are needed to align the actual benefits. Yet, with this experimental treatment, it is safe to try at home

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