Thursday, March 31, 2011

Facebook Tetris - Rank up your brain

Look around the classroom, the study lounges, your friends' laptop screens; Facebook Tetris Battle is the new in thing for Asians. My friends and I have been Tetris battling each other at night for hours (...sad, I know, but that’s what addiction is.) So I decided to do a little research this addictive game I’m fighting against, and what I found was that playing Tetris increases brain efficiency!

Using brain imaging technology, researchers from Mind Research Network investigated 26 teenage girls playing Tetris. For 30 minutes a day for three months, these girls played Tetris (gr, I wonder if they get paid for doing it too.) There was also a control group of girls that didn't play Tetris to maintain a fair test. These girls had both structural (for assessing cortical thickness) and functional (to assess efficient activity) MRI scans before and after the three-months period.

To cut a long story short, what they found was that after three months, the brain efficiency and cortical thickness of the girls that did play Tetris were higher than those of the girls that didn't.

Dr. Richard Haier explains, "what we found was a change in the brain after playing Tetris, the thickness of the cerebral cortex actually increased, by less than half a millimetre." He continued to say how it was once thought that the number of brain cells in the brain was fixed by a certain age, but this now appears not to be true.

The cerebral cortex plays a key role in memory, attention, perceptual awareness, thought, language and consciousness, so I'm guessing, with the thickening of it, Tetris increases ALL THAT.

So, it's not that bad to be addicted to Tetris after all then? Stop telling me to stop playing Tetris, it's good for me.

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