A Video Game That Can Improve Empathy and Change The Brain
Editorials News | Aug-24-2018
A robot that is exploring in the space crashes on a distant planet. It is now looking for parts of its spaceship and needs to build emotional bond with the alien habitants there. Even though the aliens speak a different language but their facial expressions are quite like humans. The framework is the premise of a video developed by researchers at University of Wisconsin-Madison for middle scholars. The game will help to understand if a video game can boost a child's empathy or if learning these things can change the brain's neural connection. The results were quite invigorating.
In around 2 weeks, kids who played the game showed greater connectivity in networks of the brain related to empathy. Some also showed that there is an alteration of neural networks which are commonly connected to emotional regulation. The results are quite thrilling because to show that these skills predict emotional well-being throughout the life. And proving that they are trainable can have a positive consequence on a child's life.
Kids between ages of 8-18 play more than 70 minutes of video games daily. This time coincides with the first time a child encounters depression, bullying and anxiety. Training positively for these skills can have a huge impact on their future and the future of the mankind as well. The next challenge for researchers is to build different games for kids of different ages as the experiment only affected a certain age group. A classic proof that one size doesn't fits all.
The research was funded by a grant aid from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
By: Neha Maheshwari
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