Agriculture
Where Have All the Bees Gone?
Protecting Cows—and People—from a Deadly Disease
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Amphibians
Tree Frogs
Frogs and Toads
Salamanders
Animals
Missing Moose
Copybees
Koalas, Up Close and Personal
Behavior
Mosquito duets
Making light of sleep
The chemistry of sleeplessness
Birds
Dodos
Turkeys
Swans
Chemistry and Materials
The metal detector in your mouth
Heaviest named element is official
Bandages that could bite back
Computers
Hubble trouble doubled
New twists for phantom limbs
It's a Small E-mail World After All
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dino Flesh from Fossil Bone
From Mammoth to Modern Elephant
Did Dinosaurs Do Handstands?
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Earth Rocks On
Challenging the Forces of Nature
Bugs with Gas
Environment
Seabirds Deliver Arctic Pollutants
Swimming with Sharks and Stingrays
Sounds and Silence
Finding the Past
Your inner Neandertal
Settling the Americas
Ancient Art on the Rocks
Fish
Electric Eel
Eels
Marlin
Food and Nutrition
Strong Bones for Life
Chew for Health
Yummy bugs
GSAT English Rules
Adjectives and Adverbs
Capitalization Rules
Problems with Prepositions
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
Mastering The GSAT Exam
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Mathematics
A Sweet Advance in Candy Packing
Math of the World
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Human Body
Kids now getting 'adult' disease
A Long Haul
Fighting Off Micro-Invader Epidemics
Invertebrates
Caterpillars
Moths
Nautiluses
Mammals
Opposum
Armadillo
Blue Whales
Parents
Children and Media
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
How children learn
Physics
IceCube Science
Spin, Splat, and Scramble
Strange Universe: The Stuff of Darkness
Plants
Making the most of a meal
A Change in Leaf Color
When Fungi and Algae Marry
Reptiles
Alligators
Garter Snakes
Sea Turtles
Space and Astronomy
Burst Busters
A Star's Belt of Dust and Rocks
Older Stars, New Age for the Universe
Technology and Engineering
Slip Sliming Away
A Micro-Dose of Your Own Medicine
Reach for the Sky
The Parts of Speech
Pronouns
What is a Preposition?
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Transportation
Where rivers run uphill
Charged cars that would charge
Robots on a Rocky Road
Weather
Where rivers run uphill
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Warmest Year on Record
Add your Article

A brain-boosting video game

In the video game Tetris, players try to pack as many shapes as possible into a small space. According to a new study, that’s not all they’re doing: Scientists found a connection between playing Tetris and the size of part of the brain.

It sounds like a joke, but the study uses serious science. A team of three researchers from Canada and the United States scanned the brains of 15 adolescent girls, aged 12-15, who played Tetris. The scans showed that after 3 months of playing the block-stacking game, gray matter in the girls’ brains was thicker. (Gray matter is the wrinkly mixture of brain cells and blood vessels responsible for processing information in the brain.) Part of the thicker gray matter was in a region of the brain near the top of the head. This area, called the parietal lobe, is believed to be responsible for collecting information from the senses.

The study shows that “brain structure is much more dynamic than had been appreciated,” says Richard Haier of the University of California, Irvine, one of the three scientists behind the study. Haier says they studied girls’ brains because they typically spend less time playing video games than boys.

For comparison, the scientists also scanned the brains of 11 girls who had not been playing Tetris. They found no increase in the thickness of those girls’ gray matter—suggesting that certain parts of the game-playing girls’ brains grew because the girls had played the video game.

The researchers didn’t stop there—they also did real-time brain scans of girls while they were playing Tetris. For those scans, they used a technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI. An fMRI tracks how blood moves through the brain, and allows scientists to see which brain areas are being used.

These scans showed that in the brains of girls who played Tetris for three months, some parts of the brain were being used less. The scientists don’t know why. Haier suggests that the drop in activity may be due to the brain actually working more efficiently than before. “We’re not sure, but we think the brain is learning which areas not to use,” Haier says. “As you learn the game, it becomes more automatic.”

The parts of the brain that got bigger over the course of three months were not the same parts of the brain that were being used less. This comparison hints that bigger is not always better: Just because a part of the brain gets bigger doesn’t mean that it’s working more efficiently.

Understanding how the brain works is not easy, says Haier. The scientists don’t know if the brain changes due to Tetris will help a person learn new skills or have better memory. “We know Tetris changes the brain,” Haier says. “We don’t know if it’s good for you.”

A brain-boosting video game
A brain-boosting video game








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™