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Johns Hopkins Health - Your Brain on Video Games

Summer 2014
Issue No. 25

Your Brain on Video Games

Date: July 8, 2014

video games

Video games aren’t just for mindless fun. They may be good for your brain.

There is growing evidence that playing video games can have a positive effect on attention and memory, and they may also have educational benefits.

“People have been using flight simulators for a long time to learn how to fly planes, and a flight simulator is a very elaborate video game,” says John Krakauer, M.D., a neurologist and neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins. “We think that games can be educational, and a lot of gaming technology is now being used for things like teaching young children.”

The key with video games, as with many pastimes, is moderation. “Parents shouldn’t simply give their kids video games, just like they shouldn’t plop them in front of the television, if it detracts from having conversations and reading books,” Krakauer says. “It’s not video games, per se, that are bad.”

Krakauer has a video game group in his lab at Johns Hopkins that is developing games to study skill learning, track traumatic brain injury and treat stroke.

For more information, appointments or consultations, call 877-546-1872.

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