Agriculture
Microbes at the Gas Pump
Growing Healthier Tomato Plants
Fast-flying fungal spores
Amphibians
Toads
Frogs and Toads
Newts
Animals
Vampire Bats on the Run
Fishing for Giant Squid
Not Slippery When Wet
Behavior
Storing Memories before Bedtime
GSAT Mathematics Quiz, Teaching Math, teaching anxiety
Lost Sight, Found Sound
Birds
Peafowl
Ibises
Geese
Chemistry and Materials
Lighting goes digital
A Framework for Growing Bone
Silk’s superpowers
Computers
Lighting goes digital
The science of disappearing
New twists for phantom limbs
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Fingerprinting Fossils
Dinosaurs Grow Up
The Paleontologist and the Three Dinosaurs
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Rocking the House
Earth's Poles in Peril
Sky Dust Keeps Falling on Your Head
Environment
Blooming Jellies
Plastic Meals for Seals
The Down Side of Keeping Clean
Finding the Past
A Long Trek to Asia
Unearthing Ancient Astronomy
A Big Discovery about Little People
Fish
Perches
Carp
Skates and Rays
Food and Nutrition
The Color of Health
In Search of the Perfect French Fry
Packing Fat
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. Whom
Order of Adjectives
Who vs. That vs. Which
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Mathematics
Setting a Prime Number Record
Math Naturals
Deep-space dancers
Human Body
Prime Time for Broken Bones
Don't Eat That Sandwich!
A Better Flu Shot
Invertebrates
Flies
Starfish
Tapeworms
Mammals
Kodiak Bear
Rottweilers
Yorkshire Terriers
Parents
Children and Media
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Physics
IceCube Science
Echoes of a Stretched Egg
The Mirror Universe of Antimatter
Plants
Tracking the Sun Improves Plant Pollen
A Change in Leaf Color
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
Reptiles
Geckos
Cobras
Crocodiles
Space and Astronomy
Melting Snow on Mars
Supernovas Shed Light on Dark Energy
Killers from Outer Space
Technology and Engineering
Musclebots Take Some Steps
Dancing with Robots
Machine Copy
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Noun
Transportation
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Weather
Where rivers run uphill
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
A Change in Climate
Add your Article

A brain-boosting video game

In the video game Tetris, players try to pack as many shapes as possible into a small space. According to a new study, that’s not all they’re doing: Scientists found a connection between playing Tetris and the size of part of the brain.

It sounds like a joke, but the study uses serious science. A team of three researchers from Canada and the United States scanned the brains of 15 adolescent girls, aged 12-15, who played Tetris. The scans showed that after 3 months of playing the block-stacking game, gray matter in the girls’ brains was thicker. (Gray matter is the wrinkly mixture of brain cells and blood vessels responsible for processing information in the brain.) Part of the thicker gray matter was in a region of the brain near the top of the head. This area, called the parietal lobe, is believed to be responsible for collecting information from the senses.

The study shows that “brain structure is much more dynamic than had been appreciated,” says Richard Haier of the University of California, Irvine, one of the three scientists behind the study. Haier says they studied girls’ brains because they typically spend less time playing video games than boys.

For comparison, the scientists also scanned the brains of 11 girls who had not been playing Tetris. They found no increase in the thickness of those girls’ gray matter—suggesting that certain parts of the game-playing girls’ brains grew because the girls had played the video game.

The researchers didn’t stop there—they also did real-time brain scans of girls while they were playing Tetris. For those scans, they used a technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI. An fMRI tracks how blood moves through the brain, and allows scientists to see which brain areas are being used.

These scans showed that in the brains of girls who played Tetris for three months, some parts of the brain were being used less. The scientists don’t know why. Haier suggests that the drop in activity may be due to the brain actually working more efficiently than before. “We’re not sure, but we think the brain is learning which areas not to use,” Haier says. “As you learn the game, it becomes more automatic.”

The parts of the brain that got bigger over the course of three months were not the same parts of the brain that were being used less. This comparison hints that bigger is not always better: Just because a part of the brain gets bigger doesn’t mean that it’s working more efficiently.

Understanding how the brain works is not easy, says Haier. The scientists don’t know if the brain changes due to Tetris will help a person learn new skills or have better memory. “We know Tetris changes the brain,” Haier says. “We don’t know if it’s good for you.”

A brain-boosting video game
A brain-boosting video game








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™