Playing 3-D video games may help stop memory loss

A screenshot from Super Mario 3D World, which study volunteers played
A screenshot from Super Mario 3D World, which study volunteers played
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Playing three dimensional video games may protect against the dulling of memory that comes with age, a study has found.

Scientists believe 3D gaming could provide a novel treatment for people affected by age-related memory loss or dementia.

Student volunteers playing the game Super Mario 3D World boosted their performance in memory tests by around 12 per cent – roughly the amount it normally decreases by between the ages of 45 and 70.

But playing a less involving two dimensional game, Angry Birds did not have the same beneficial effect.

3D games are thought to stimulate the hippocampus, a brain region vital to memory that shrinks with age and is damaged by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

US lead scientist Dr Dane Clemenson, from the University of California at Irvine, said: “We know this kind of learning and memory not only stimulates but requires the hippocampus.”