3-D navigation: A core driver of brain plasticity in video game interventions

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Simone KuehnJuergen Gallinat

Abstract

Recent evidence has repeatedly shown that 3D platform video game training leads to substantial brain structural plasticity in hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and cerebellum. However, a great disadvantage of using complex video game interventions is the difficulty to attribute the observed effects to specific game mechanics. In order to address this caveat, we conducted a longitudinal training study in which 40 participants were randomly assigned to train with a 3D platformer game or a 2D platformer game. The main difference between the two games lies within their affordance for spatial exploration. After a training phase of two months, we observed extended brain structural increases in the 3D in comparison to the 2D condition in bilateral prefrontal areas, hippocampus/entorhinal cortex as well as precuneus and the temporal lobe. In the reverse contrast an increase in bilateral caudate nucleus was observed. The results demonstrate a crucial role of 3D spatial navigation for widespread brain plasticity effects within a two-months training setup. Given the vast complexity of video games, spatial navigation seems to play an outstanding role in structural plasticity. Since prefrontal, temporal and hippocampal volume deficits are prom...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Mental Disorders
Brain
Caudate Nucleus Structure
Cerebellum
Hippocampus (Brain)
Longitudinal Studies
Medical Devices
Neuronal Plasticity
Spatial Distribution
Temporal Lobe

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