It once was widely believed that after the age of 20, Perez said, that most humans had achieved their brain cell capacity, and that new brain cells were acquired at the expense of existing ones. But conventional beliefs about brain plasticity and aging are changing. The video game-like training programs at the Office of Naval Research, he noted, are producing surprising results.
‘We know that video games can increase perceptual abilities and short-term memory,’ he said. They allow the player to focus longer and expand the player’s field of vision compared to people who don’t play video games, he added.
While there is empirical evidence of increased brain plasticity in video gamers, Perez said, the process behind it is not well understood. His belief, he said, is that the neural networks involved in video gaming become more pronounced, have increased blood flow, and become more synchronized with other neural networks in the brain.