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Games Science

Correlation Found Between Brain Structure and Video Game Success 110

Posted by Soulskill
from the correlation-does-not-equal-yadda-yadda dept.
kghapa writes "Still want to argue that video games shrink your brain? While video games have been previously shown to stimulate brain activity and improve coordination skills, a recently published study has directly linked structures in the human brain with video game aptitude. And yes, apparently size does matter in this case. Quoting: '... each subject received 20 hours of training to play a video game specifically created for research purposes, called Space Fortress. It's basically an Asteroids-type arcade game, in which the object is to knock down and destroy an enemy fortress while dodging space mines. However, the game has lots of extra twists that require close attention. Some of the players were told to focus exclusively on running up a high score, while others were told to shift their priorities between several goals. The result? The subjects who had more volume in an area called the nucleus accumbens did significantly better in the early stages of training. Meanwhile, those who were well-endowed in different areas of the striatum, known as the caudate nucleus and putamen, handled the shifting strategies better.'"
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Correlation Found Between Brain Structure and Video Game Success

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  • ...contributing to statistically greater success in tasks which might benefit from its function.

    News at 11.

    • by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:55PM (#30839296)

      Yes but knowing which specialised area does what is why this is so interesting, there's vast portions of the brain that we can look at and say "Basically responsible for this general area" and have to leave it at that. To be able to point right at a relatively small chunk and say "This does THAT" is a pretty big deal.

    • Extra extra!

      Slashdotter hears scientific finding loosely related to previously known scientific finding, can't think of immediate practical use for this knowledge, cynically implies said finding is trivial!

      Slashdotter then likely returns to reloading the slashdot main page to read try to get another first post after skimming summary!

      • If anyone is wondering why the newsboy said "...to read try to get..." it's because he's too busy selling newspapers on a street corner to get a proper education or bother with proofreading his posts.

    • by Chris Burke (6130)

      After beating a dungeon boss in Final Fantasy...

      "I just leveled up in my brain!"

    • by bjourne (1034822)
      You may want to shove your sarcasm up your butt because it is uncalled for.
  • That corporate video game companies will hire monkeys to test video games and pay them in peanuts to save the money for their annual bonuses. Most gamers won't notice the quality difference.
  • Asteroids-type arcade game, in which the object is to knock down and destroy an enemy fortress while dodging space mines.

    It sounds more like Star Castle, which *is* an Asteroids type game, but why not just come out and say Star Castle?

    • by Chris Burke (6130)

      Because, going by my completely subjective metric, Asteroids is a billion times better known than Star Castle so "asteroids-type game" gets the point across quicker and easier?

    • How many people have heard of Asteroids versus "Star Castle?"

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      I have never heard of Star Castle. I know exactly what Asteroids.

      • by MWoody (222806)

        I know you're not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition, but that's not a good alternative.

  • Freud (Score:4, Funny)

    by JustOK (667959) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @07:17PM (#30839566) Journal

    Somehow, the motherboard is a significant factor. And sometimes a joystick is just a joystick.

  • The study is interesting enough, but they need to work on their visuals. The game's graphics barely compete with Stellar Fortress for the Atari 2600... [atariage.com]
  • I want to play! (Score:3, Informative)

    by nilbog (732352) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @07:29PM (#30839720) Homepage Journal

    I thought the game sounded like fun so I looked it up. You can find it here: http://cogworks.cogsci.rpi.edu/?view=modules.research.spec&id=74 [rpi.edu] The page is down, so you may need to check the Google Cache. It does not appear to be available to the general public.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Zerth (26112)

      I was actually in a study using this game, and it didn't seem very asteroids like to me, other than having vector style graphics.

      The controls involved both a joystick in one hand, a mouse in the other, and car-style pedals. One phase had you alternately pumping the foot switches at a specific tempo for long stretches of time(as a measure of concentration) and I had just done a long distance bike trip that morning. God, my legs hurt just thinking about it.

      It was OK for a few days, but after I overflowed the

      • Sounds like a good drummer would excell at the game.
        • From the stub, it sounds like that would have been only one part of the game.

          By your reasoning, a skilled pilot would be good at the game because it has a joystick. But that would leave him at a disadvantage regarding the pedal mechanic... I guess this would be the reason for the study.
  • size does matter
    those who were well-endowed

    What an incredibly phallic story.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Abstrackt (609015)

      size does matter those who were well-endowed What an incredibly phallic story.

      Yeah, the researchers were dicks.

  • And here I thought my fast reflexes and hand-eye coordination were due to my abnormally large midi-chlorian count. With this article, I'll never convince my brother that I'm a jedi knight! Buzzkilled by science once again. "This is not the article you're looking for."

  • Useful (Score:1, Troll)

    by Amorymeltzer (1213818)

    This is fantastic information to have. You know, because of all the times in everyday life where you need to either gets lots of points or do different things rapidly. Let's see, there's sports and... sports? People good at video games are good at sports?

    Uh huh. *rolls eyes*

  • A study which actually states its correlation and not causation! With the gross misinterpretation of studies and statistics, I am surprised the headline didn't read "Study Finds Brain Structure is the Cause of Video Game Success!"
    • A study which actually states its correlation and not causation!

      Any decent study will state the correlation and then describe what steps were taken to isolate causative factors. This is not new. The reporting is a little better than usual, though.

      With the gross misinterpretation of studies and statistics, I am surprised the headline didn't read "Study Finds Brain Structure is the Cause of Video Game Success!"

      The "gross misinterpretation of studies and statistics" is almost always the fault of (a) reporter

  • Where can I get my brain size measured, and what can I take to make it bigger! Coming soon. Enzyte for gamers.

    Watch me stroll through the arcades, as I intimidate you with my BIG head!!

    • Where can I get my brain size measured...

      Same place you buy your hats.

      ...and what can I take to make it bigger!

      A blow to the head with a blunt instrument.
  • Team Fortress will work much better.

  • It's not clear from TFA or the abstract whether the volumes measured were absolute or in proportion to overall brain volume. A bigger brain will have bigger parts usually, but it may need them all bigger to run the thing. A smaller brain with a larger part might have more of that function than it requires, lending to greater ability. Anyone got access to the PDF to see how they define volume?

    Size itself can be a contributor to greater or lesser processing according to what and where. We found that the large

  • With regards to the article title ("Correlation Found Between Brain Structure and Video Game Success"), after seeing that this article seems to be missing posts with the adequate meme, in the interest of completness and as per Slashdot tradition I would like to remind everybody that:

    Correlation is not Causation

    Thank you for your time.

    • I don't have a problem, when the title of the article specifies Correlation found. The problem is when people start conflating that with causation and then continue arguing as if causation has been shown.

      Correlation is useful knowledge. Correlation tells you the way things are. If X is correlated with Y, and I want to find X, I should look where there is Y and vice versa. Like a map, correlation tells you *where/when* to look for things.

      Causation is about WHY things are the way they are. I.E. X is

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