Playing action video games may harm your brain: Study

PTI |   Aug 08,2017 , 11:18 PM IST


Toronto: Playing action video games may cause depletion of grey matter in the brain, increasing the risk of diseases such as depression, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's, a study has warned.

Researchers from University of Montreal (UdeM) in Canada found that habitual players of action games have less grey matter in their hippocampus, a major part of the brain that is responsible for orientation and for recalling past experience.

Previous studies have shown that hippocampus depletion puts a person at risk of developing brain illnesses and diseases ranging from depression to schizophrenia, Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Alzheimer's disease.

"Video games have been shown to benefit certain cognitive systems in the brain, mainly related to visual attention and short-term memory," said Greg West, associate professor at UdeM.

"But there is also behavioural evidence that there might be a cost to that, in terms of the impact on the hippocampus," West added.

There is another important part of the brain called the striatum that counterbalances the hippocampus, researchers said.

It has an area known as the caudate nucleus that acts as a kind of "autopilot" and "reward system" - getting us home from work, for example, and telling us when it's time to eat, drink and do other things that keep us alive and happy, they said.