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小时候父母都不让我们打电子游戏,觉得打游戏是浪费时间,会荒废学业,但是如今新研究指出,小时候玩电子游戏的人长大后的工作记忆力更强、反应更快。

A number of studies have shown how playing video games can lead to structural changes in the brain, including increasing the size of some regions, or to functional changes, such as activating the areas responsible for attention or visual-spatial skills. New research from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) has gone further to show how cognitive changes can take place even years after people stop playing.

大量研究表明,玩电子游戏会导致脑结构变化,包括增加某些区域的大小,或导致大脑产生功能性改变,如激活负责注意力或视觉空间技能的区域。加泰罗尼亚欧贝塔大学的最新研究进一步表明,即使不玩游戏好几年后,其导致的认知变化也会发生。

This is one of the conclusions from the article published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. The study involved 27 people between the ages of 18 and 40 with and without any kind of experience with video gaming.

这是一篇发表在《人类神经科学前沿》上的论文得出的一个结论。该研究涉及27位年龄在18至40岁之间的人,他们当中的一部分人完全没碰过电子游戏。

"People who were avid gamers before adolescence, despite no longer playing, performed better with the working memory tasks, which require mentally holding and manipulating information to get a result,” said Marc Palaus, the author of the study.

论文作者马克·帕劳斯表示:“那些在青春期以前热爱玩游戏的人,尽管现在不再玩游戏,但他们在工作记忆任务中表现更好,而这需要注意力更集中、信息获取能力更强。”

The results show that people without experience of playing video games as a child did not benefit from improvements in processing and inhibiting irrelevant stimuli. Indeed, they were slower than those who had played games as children, which matched what had been seen in earlier studies.

结果表明,儿童时期没有电子游戏经验的人无法从中获得优化脑部处理能力和抑制无关刺激的效果。他们比儿时玩游戏的人反应更慢,这与早先的研究结果吻合。

Likewise, “people who played regularly as children performed better from the outset in processing 3D objects, although these differences were mitigated after the period of training in video gaming, when both groups showed similar levels,” said Palaus.

帕劳斯称:“从小经常玩电子游戏的人从一开始就在处理3D任务方面表现更好,不过经过电子游戏训练后,两组表现出相似的水平,差距得以缩小。”

The study lasted a month and the researchers analysed participants’ cognitive skills, including working memory, at three points: before starting the training in video gaming, at the end of the training, and fifteen days later. The video game used was Nintendo’s Super Mario 64.

这项研究历时一个月,研究人员分三次评估了参与者的工作记忆等认知技能:开始进行电子游戏培训之前,培训结束时,以及培训结束十五天之后。使用的电子游戏是任天堂的超级马里奥64。

The study also included 10 sessions of transcranial magnetic stimulation. This is non-invasive brain stimulation through the skin that temporarily changes the brain’s activity.

研究过程中还对参与者进行了10次经颅磁刺激。这是通过皮肤进行的非侵入性大脑刺激,可暂时改变大脑活动的模式。

"It uses magnetic waves which, when applied to the surface of the skull, are able to produce electrical currents in underlying neural populations and modify their activity,” explained Palaus.

帕劳斯解释说:“使用电磁波,将其施加到颅骨表面时,能够在潜在的神经群中产生电流并改变其活动。”

The researchers wanted to find out if combining video gaming and this kind of stimulation would improve cognitive performance, but that didn’t turn out to be the case.

研究人员想知道将电子游戏与经颅刺激相结合是否能改善认知能力,结果发现并不能。

"We aimed to achieve lasting changes. Under normal circumstances, the effects of this stimulation can last from milliseconds to tens of minutes. We wanted to achieve improved performance of certain brain functions that lasted longer than this,” said Palaus.

帕劳斯说:“我们的目标是实现持久的改善。在正常情况下,这种刺激的效果可以持续几毫秒到几十分钟。我们希望提高某些大脑功能的表现,并持续更长的时间。”

According to Palaus, what most video games have in common is that they involve elements that make people want to continue playing, and that they gradually get harder and present a constant challenge. “These two things are enough to make it an attractive and motivating activity, which, in turn, requires constant and intense use of our brain’s resources.”

根据帕劳斯所说,游戏的最大共同点是,它们包含使人们想要玩下去的元素,而且逐渐变得越来越难,并提出了持续的挑战。“这两件事足以使它具有吸引力和激励性,反过来又需要不断地高强度地使用我们的大脑资源。”

"Video games are a perfect recipe for strengthening our cognitive skills, almost without our noticing,” he said.

帕劳斯指出:“电子游戏是增强我们认知能力的完美秘诀,潜移默化地发挥着作用。”

文章来源:China Daily

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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