Playing Pokemon at a young age activates a special region in your brain, study shows

Gaming is good for your brain activity, studies have already figured this out. But what about playing Pokémon? Study found that if you played a lot of hours in your childhood playing pokémon (Red, Blue, Yellow), your brain may well have created a small region dedicated to remembering Pikachu and the gang.

Researchers at Stanford University have discovered that playing Pokémon for many hours unlocks a certain region right behind the ear that helps to respond to images of the characters. The study presented images of Pokémon characters to both those who played the games regularly and those who have no knowledge of the series, unsurprisingly finding that the brains of regular players responded more.

The area of the brain that activates is called the occipitotemporal sulcus, an area believed to respond to images of animals (perhaps the closest thing to Pokémon characters). In the same way we store words and faces, the brain also finds a special, dedicated spot for remembering Charizard, Mewtwo, and all of your favourite pocket monsters.

The study supports the belief that exposure at a young age helps the brain to develop dedicated regions, and also highlights the differences between our central and peripheral vision. The size of a Game Boy screen ensures that the Pokémon characters only take up a small part of the player’s view, meaning that preferential brain activations can be found in the part of the visual cortex that deals with central vision specifically. You can find a video where they about the study below.

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