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Mol Psychiatry. 2018 Jul;23(7):1566-1574. doi: 10.1038/mp.2017.155. Epub 2017 Aug 8.

Impact of video games on plasticity of the hippocampus.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Centre de Recherche en Neuropsychologie et Cogntion, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada. gregory.west@umontreal.ca.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, McGill University, Verdun, QC, Canada.
3
Department of Psychology, Centre de Recherche en Neuropsychologie et Cogntion, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada.
4
Department of Psychiatry, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, McGill University, Verdun, QC, Canada. veronique.bohbot@mcgill.ca.

Abstract

The hippocampus is critical to healthy cognition, yet results in the current study show that action video game players have reduced grey matter within the hippocampus. A subsequent randomised longitudinal training experiment demonstrated that first-person shooting games reduce grey matter within the hippocampus in participants using non-spatial memory strategies. Conversely, participants who use hippocampus-dependent spatial strategies showed increased grey matter in the hippocampus after training. A control group that trained on 3D-platform games displayed growth in either the hippocampus or the functionally connected entorhinal cortex. A third study replicated the effect of action video game training on grey matter in the hippocampus. These results show that video games can be beneficial or detrimental to the hippocampal system depending on the navigation strategy that a person employs and the genre of the game.

PMID:
28785110
DOI:
10.1038/mp.2017.155

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