From Your brain on Tetris, The Week magazine, Sep 25, 2009
Playing Tetris, the classic computer game, actually enlarges your brain, scientists say.
The game, which turns 25 this year, calls on players to rapidly fit together colored puzzle pieces as they fall from the top of the screen.
In a recent study, neuroscientists asked two dozen adolescents to play Tetris for a half-hour every day for three months.
Subsequent brain scans revealed that, in these players, certain regions of the cerebral cortex—areas with a role in planning complex movements and coordinating sensory information—had added new cells and grown a half-millimeter thicker.
“It used to be thought that the number of neurons in the brain was fixed after a certain age,” neuroscientist Richard Haier tells BBC.com. “This appears not to be true.”
Left to be resolved is whether the growth in brain cells leads to overall improvements in memory and problem solving. “The $64,000 question is whether these brain changes are beneficial to activities other than playing Tetris,” Haier says.
Photo: Basel 016 Nintendo Tetris by watz.
Originally posted 2009-09-24 22:31:12.