Current Psychiatry Reports

, 17:71

The Effects of Video Games on Cognition and Brain Structure: Potential Implications for Neuropsychiatric Disorders

  • Tahireh A. Shams
  • George Foussias
  • John A. Zawadzki
  • Victoria S. Marshe
  • Ishraq Siddiqui
  • Daniel J. Müller
  • Albert H. C. Wong
Genetic Disorders (W Berrettini, Section Editor)

DOI: 10.1007/s11920-015-0609-6

Cite this article as:
Shams, T.A., Foussias, G., Zawadzki, J.A. et al. Curr Psychiatry Rep (2015) 17: 71. doi:10.1007/s11920-015-0609-6
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Genetic Disorders

Abstract

Video games are now a ubiquitous form of entertainment that has occasionally attracted negative attention. Video games have also been used to test cognitive function, as therapeutic interventions for neuropsychiatric disorders, and to explore mechanisms of experience-dependent structural brain changes. Here, we review current research on video games published from January 2011 to April 2014 with a focus on studies relating to mental health, cognition, and brain imaging. Overall, there is evidence that specific types of video games can alter brain structure or improve certain aspects of cognitive functioning. Video games can also be useful as neuropsychological assessment tools. While research in this area is still at a very early stage, there are interesting results that encourage further work in this field, and hold promise for utilizing this technology as a powerful therapeutic and experimental tool.

Keywords

Video game Computer game Virtual reality Cognition Psychiatry Treatment Rehabilitation MRI Brain structural imaging Plasticity 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tahireh A. Shams
    • 1
    • 2
  • George Foussias
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • John A. Zawadzki
    • 4
    • 5
  • Victoria S. Marshe
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  • Ishraq Siddiqui
    • 4
    • 5
  • Daniel J. Müller
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Albert H. C. Wong
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Pharmacogenetics Research Clinic, Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of ScienceRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Institute of Medical ScienceUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthCampbell Family Mental Health Research InstituteTorontoCanada

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