Brain power! Gamers spend hours honing their skills by twiddling their thumbs. But according to new research, their expertise might be entirely in
Researchers from the University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign say they can predict a subject's skill at video games simply by studying their brain using standard image scanning technology, reports Wired. The
study, which will be published in online journal PLoS One, set out to determine whether subtle differences in brain structure could be found in people more naturally gifted than others in performing complex tasks -- including games.
Using MRI scans, researchers mapped out the brains of 34
non-gamers and had them play a specially-designed game, "Space
Fortress," for 20 hours. It turns out that a good 55-68% of the difference
in scores could be attributed to the size of their basal ganglia and other
brain parts. To professors, that's considered "unprecedented
"Our data suggest that some persistent physiological and or neuroanatomical
difference is actually the predictor of learning," University of Illinois psychology
professor Art Kramer said in a statement.
The study is actually a follow-up to a report published by
the same researchers in 2010, which indicated a link between brain size and