The brain can be affected by just 1 hour of playing video games, according to new research published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
The study — which was conducted by scientists from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China in Chengdu — found that participants who spent 1 hour playing the video game League of Legends experienced changes in brain activity.
The participants also demonstrated improved ability to focus on relevant information while screening out distractions.
The researchers recruited 29 male students to participate in the study. One group had at least 2 years of playing action video games and the other group had fewer than 6 months of experience playing these video games.
The group with the most experience, or the “experts,” were ranked in the top 7 percent of League of Legends players. The “non-experts,” meanwhile, were ranked in the bottom 11 percent.
The players’ “visual selective attention” was assessed by the researchers before and after playing League of Legends.
Visual selective attention is how scientists refer to the brain’s ability to focus while simultaneously disregarding less relevant information.
Focusing on relevant information in this way uses up brain power, so scientists tend to believe that people who are very good at focusing their attention while filtering out distractions show a very efficient use of their brains.