It looks like that by measuring 3 structures of a person’s brain, you can predict how well they will perform at video games.
Remember that correlation is not causation, but it would not be surprising that different kinds of brains, and I’d assume different kinds of intellectual abilities, would make one better at various kinds of video games. Although my impression is that certain kinds of mental “activities” can build/develop your “mental muscles”. But that some people will get more out of these “activities” than others.
The MSNBC article says…
Does playing video games improve your brain? Or do bigger brains make it easier to learn video games?
My guess would be that people are born with certain kinds of brains. And that certain kinds of brains can give certain natural mental talents. But that playing video games can help develop their mental talents even further. (Similar to how people can be born mesomorphs and naturally have muscles and be able to put on muscles easily. But weight lifting at the gym can make their muscles even bigger and stronger.)
The article goes on to say…
Psychologists say they can predict how well you’ll do on a video game by looking at the size of just three little structures inside your brain. If those structures are bigger, you’ll probably catch on more quickly and do better.
But don’t start bragging about how gamers are naturally brainier just yet. The psychologists have more puzzles to solve before they level up.
“We’re really at the tip of the iceberg in understanding how all this gets put together,” said the University of Pittsburgh’s Kirk Erickson, the study’s principal author.
The 3 structures in the brain thy are talking about are the caudate nucleus, putamen, and nucleus accumbens. (The hippocampus showed no linkage.)
The article later says…
Past research has shown that expert gamers tend to outperform novices on basic measures of attention and perception. Some studies have suggested that video-game training can help novices bridge the gap – while others indicated that the novices couldn’t catch up after more than 20 hours of training.
[R]esearchers behind the latest study stress that brain structures aren’t set in stone. “We know that’s not true for a lot of nuclei in the brain,” Kramer said. “We know that exercise can increase the volume of the nuclei.”
I’d assume some people will get more out of exercise than others.
I guess my mother may have been correct in claiming that video games help exercise kids minds, and build their “mental muscles”.