Thursday, January 21, 2010
If you find video games a struggle, it could be to do with the size of certain parts of your brain
Researchers found they could predict how well an amateur player might perform on a game by measuring the volume of key sections of the brain. They suggest their findings could have wider implications for understanding the differences in learning rates. There is broad acceptance of a link between brain size and intelligence. MRI scans showed that people with a larger nucleus accumbens, which is part of the brain's reward center, outperformed others in the first few hours of game playing, perhaps due to the "sense of achievement and the emotional reward" accompanying achievement in the earliest stages of learning. But game players who ultimately performed best on the game in which priorities changed had larger sections deep in the center of the brain, known as the caudate and putamen. Timothy Bates, a professor of psychology at the University of Edinburgh, said the study's findings fitted with increasingly prevailing views about brain size and cognitive ability.