Kids today are constantly using a form of technology to play games, simultaneously attending to other things. Many people would argue that forms of media and video games have a negative effect on kids. For many parents, certain elements of video games seem like a complete waste of time and brain power. While there may be some negative effects of media, scientists are now saying that online learning games for kids can have benefits on the brain. A recent article by The Huffington Post discusses recent research that has found benefits to learning games for kids.
Testing The Theory
Researchers believe that online learning games for kids can have multiple psychological and physical benefits. Video games that require fast-paced actions enhance certain cognitive functions, including bettering attention, reaction times and switching from one task to another. Researchers conducted an experiment where they asked 23 individuals to play Super Mario 64 for 30 minutes a day over a two-month period. They compared the group to a control group who did not play video games at all. They then examined the brains of the two groups using an MRI machine
Multiple Benefits Found
The gaming group had a rise in gray matter in the right hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and cerebellum parts of the brain. These areas are responsible for spatial navigation, memory formation, strategic planning and fine motor skills in hands. Scientists believe that video games could potentially be used as a therapy for patients with mental disorders that cause brain regions to shrink or be altered.
Researchers also believe that online learning games for kids can be a therapy tool for those suffering from trauma or pain. Online learning games for kids allows the brain to stay busy using other senses instead of focusing on pain. It also releases endorphins in the brain, a chemical linked to happiness and euphoria.
This study reveals the direct link between online learning games for kids and an increase in brain function. Online learning games for kids may be more beneficial than people once thought. As long as they are played in moderation, online learning games for kids could greatly benefit youth in many ways.