Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


The joystick years


A new study has used voxel-based morphometry of MRI scans of adult video-game players to investigate whether there is a correlation between grey matter volume and the number of years spent playing video games ('joystick years'). They found that grey matter volume in the entorhinal cortex was altered and that the direction of change was influenced by the type of game played; logic or puzzle games tended to increase entorhinal grey matter volume, whereas action-based games had the opposite effect. Moreover, hippocampal volume was found to be greater in players with more 'joystick years', suggesting positive long-term effects on visual attention and navigation.


  1. Kühn, S & Gallinat, J. Amount of lifetime video gaming is positively associated with entorhinal, hippocampal and occipital volume. Mol. Psychiatry (2013)

Download references


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Lewis, S. The joystick years. Nat Rev Neurosci 14, 671 (2013).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing