Before researches look at how video games affect the brain, they have to analyze how brains learn and change. The brain is a malleable structure that changes and responds to any stimuli given to it. Whether this stimulus comes from reading, playing basketball, or speaking different languages, each input can change the brain. How video games affect the brain is still speculation, but there are conclusions drawn on video games on cognitive functions, effects on the brain and behavior, and if video games are addictive or not.
The first aspect to perceive on while judging how video games affect the brain is improvement in cognitive function. Cognitive function is the process of thought in our brains. Because of the wide variety of gaming genres it is hard to determine a definite answer. However, overall researches has shown that game play may improve visual spatial capacity, visual acuity, task switching, decision making, and object tracking. This shows that video games increase visual attention, processing speed, and basic logical reasoning. These skills do not show a definite improvement in cognitive functioning but improvements on daily and simple tasks.
The next are to review is the effect on the brain and behavior. On this field, there has been a unanimous decision stating that intensified play of video games results in negative cognitive function. For example, playing too many recreational and fast paced games results in discontent and lack of focus while studying and learning in class. In addition, it takes away time that should can be used to socialize and being active. Video games can also cause unordinary behavior in extreme cases by having the video games influence the brain, therefore causing irregular behavior. For instance, video games with violent content has shown to increase unlawful behavior, and lack of empathy. If video games are played too much, there are negative effects on brain and behavior.
Lastly, it is important to know whether video games are addictive or not. The research for this question is still being researched but it has been prevalent to be addictive. Researchers say, ”Brain areas that respond to game stimuli in patients with on-line game addiction are similar to those that respond to drug cue-induced craving in patients with substance dependence.” They also state that by being addicted to games causes disruptions in educational, social, occupational, developmental, and behavioral problems.