Playing Tetris Boosts Brain Power

Study claims game has building blocks for better grey matter
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2009 6:15 AM CDT
Teenage girls' brains showed structural changes after three months of intensive Tetris playing.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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(Newser) – Playing Tetris leaves people's brains better-equipped to deal with more than just an onslaught of falling blocks, according to a new study. Researchers—funded by the video game's makers—took brain scans of adolescent girls before and after three months of daily Tetris playing and found that some parts of the brain developed greater efficiency and others actually grew thicker cortexes, Wired reports

The results, researchers say, show that a "challenging visuospatial task" like Tetris can actually alter the brain's structure. They plan further research to discover whether the changes are permanent, and if playing video games could help arrest the brain's natural decline with age. "I want to know what the heck is going on in those brains," the lead researcher says.