Games = Big brains?
The suggestion that games can make you more brainy is nothing new. So does reading maps... apparently.
It's not entirely surprising that playing computer games does actually appear to strengthen certain parts of the brain as most recently cited by US Researchers looking at the game classic Tetris. In their study they claim to have found that people tasked with playing the game for 30 minutes every day saw an increase in the cortical thickness of areas of the brain associated with planning of complex movements. But this is really nothing that should entirely surprise us. If we go to the gym and work out, our muscles will actually get both bigger and physically stronger. Likewise, the brain is surprisingly malleable and, if put under training will improve over time. Before games and the internet caught the current zeitgeist studies were carried out on London cab drivers. They found that cabbies who had taken 'the knowledge', memorising all the roads of the city, had certain parts of the brain which were more developed than in the population at large. So it begs the question, is it the computer games the people were playing which were the real causal factor or is it simply the case that any repetitive exercise requiring the use of your mental faculties will actually cause you to both improve in performance and make your brain bulge!