The University of California Irvine’s Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory has recently discovered that playing 3-D video games can improve memory and benefit the aging brain. It is well regarded that the brain benefits from an active, engaged lifestyle. Most people, however, might not be able to engage in such behaviors (i.e. vacations) and as such, 3-D video games might fill that gap.

In order to conduct the study, researchers tracked participants who played either 2-D or 3-D video games every day for 30 minutes for two weeks. Of the participants, when given memory tests, those who played 3-D games showed improvement while those who played 2-D games remained stagnant. Memory in those who played 3-D video games improved by about 12%.

In explaining the difference between 2-D and 3-D games, co-author Craig Stark says, “First, the 3-D games have a few things the 2-D ones do not. They've got a lot more spatial information in there to explore. Second, they're much more complex, with a lot more information to learn. Either way, we know this kind of learning and memory not only stimulates but requires the hippocampus.”

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