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Brains on video games


The popular press is replete with stories about the effects of video and computer games on the brain. Sensationalist headlines claiming that video games 'damage the brain' or 'boost brain power' do not do justice to the complexities and limitations of the studies involved, and create a confusing overall picture about the effects of gaming on the brain. Here, six experts in the field shed light on our current understanding of the positive and negative ways in which playing video games can affect cognition and behaviour, and explain how this knowledge can be harnessed for educational and rehabilitation purposes. As research in this area is still in its early days, the contributors of this Viewpoint also discuss several issues and challenges that should be addressed to move the field forward.

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D.H.H. thanks the Korean Game Culture Foundation for data and technical support.

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Correspondence to Daphne Bavelier, C. Shawn Green, Doug Hyun Han, Perry F. Renshaw, Michael M. Merzenich or Douglas A. Gentile.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Bavelier, D., Green, C., Han, D. et al. Brains on video games. Nat Rev Neurosci 12, 763–768 (2011).

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