Share this story!
Playing computer games might increase a child's intelligence, a study shows. The children who played more computer games than average increased their intelligence by about 2.5 IQ points more than other children.
The study was conducted by researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. 9,000 children underwent psychological tests that gave a measure of their general cognitive ability at the age of 9–10 years. After two years, the children had to repeat the tests.
The researchers then studied how the children's IQ scores had changed and factored in how much time the children spent on computer games and other screen activities. On average, the children spent 2.5 hours a day watching TV, half an hour on social media, and an hour playing computer games.
The children who played more computer games raised their IQs more than those who spent an average or below-average amount of time. For the other activities, no impact could be seen at all.
"We have not investigated the effects of screen habits on physical activity, sleep, well-being or school performance and can therefore not say anything about that. But the results provide support that screen time in general has no negative effect on children's cognitive ability, and that computer gaming on the contrary can contribute to higher intelligence. This is in line with several experimental studies of computer gaming", says Torkel Klingberg, professor at Karolinska Institutet and one of the researchers behind the study, in a press release.
The results suggest that intelligence is not a constant trait, but is affected by environmental factors. Something that researchers now want to take a closer look at.
"We will now go further and investigate the effect of other environmental factors and how the cognitive effects relate to brain development during childhood", says Torkel Klingberg.
Cover photo: Indivisible Gaming