FPS games can enhance players' memories, says study

Netherlands-based Leiden University says video games enhance the brain's working memory.

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A team at the Netherlands-based Leiden University has published a research paper that says video games, specifically first-person shooters, enhance the memory capacity of players.

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The results, published in the journal Psychological Research (via Science Daily), are based off a test comparing the working memory of those who played at least five hours of shooter games weekly to those who never played video games.

Working memory can be thought of as the brain's short-term memory, according to the BBC. "Working memory can help us overcome a particular problem or perform a task, like mental arithmetic, using a phone number, or following a set of directions. However the amount of information we can hold is limited and the information itself is very unstable - a sudden distraction and the information is lost and you have to start again from scratch."

Dr. Lorenza Colzato, who works at the Leiden University's cognitive psychology unit, said that "we think that video game experience trains your brain to become more flexible in the updating and monitoring of new information, enhancing the memory capacity of the gamers."

Colzato says FPS games "require players to develop a flexible mindset to rapidly react and monitor fast moving visual and auditory stimuli."

"We believe that gaming is a fast and easy way to enhance your memory," concluded Colzato.

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