|Gi Jung Hyun1;Yong Wook Shin2;Bung-Nyun Kim3;Jae Hoon Cheong4;Seong Nam Jin1; and Doug Hyun Han1;|
1;Department of Psychiatry, Chung Ang University Hospital, Seoul,
2;Department of Psychiatry, ASAN Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul,
3;Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul,
4;Uimyung Research Institute for Neurosciecne, Samyook University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Objective : The bulk of recent studies have tested whether video games change the brain in terms of activity and cortical volume. However, such studies are limited by several factors including cross-sectional comparisons, co-morbidity, and short-term follow-up periods. In the present study, we hypothesized that cognitive flexibility and the volume of brain cortex would be correlated with the career length of on-line pro-gamers.
Methods : High-resolution magnetic resonance scans were acquired in twenty-three pro-gamers recruited from StarCraft pro-game teams. We measured cortical thickness in each individual using FreeSurfer and the cortical thickness was correlated with the career length and the performance of the pro-gamers.
Results : Career length was positively correlated with cortical thickness in three brain regions: right superior frontal gyrus, right superior parietal gyrus, and right precentral gyrus. Additionally, increased cortical thickness in the prefrontal cortex was correlated with winning rates of the pro-game league. Increased cortical thickness in the prefrontal and parietal cortices was also associated with higher performance of Wisconsin Card Sorting Test.
Conclusion : Our results suggest that in individuals without pathologic conditions, regular, long-term playing of on-line games is associated with volume changes in the prefrontal and parietal cortices, which are associated with cognitive flexibility.
On-line game;Cortical thickness;Frontal cortex;Cognitive flexibility.