A new study from the University of Montreal says that playing games such as Call of Duty or Assassins Creed (A game made in Montreal) can increase the risk of mental illnesses.
According to The Telegraph, “players navigate the screen using a key area of the brain called the caudate nucleus, which leads to loss of grey matter in the hippocampus.”
The Canadian scientists said that a lack of grey matter can make you prone to mental illnesses and Alzheimer's.
They tested 26 players and 33 non-players as they navigated a virtual maze to retrieve objects. They wore skull caps which recorded their brainwaves and eye movements.
Gamers were twice as likely to use their caudate nucleus than non-gamers.
Dr. Gregory West said, “For more than a decade now, research has demonstrated action video game players display more efficient visual attention abilities. Our current study again confirms this notion. We, however, also found action video game players use navigation strategies that rely on the caudate nucleus to a much greater degree than non video game players.”
He concluded, “...people who play a lot of action video games could have reduced hippocampal integrity, which is associated with increased risk for neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.”
The researchers also say that the effects of intense gaming on the brain are just beginning to emerge.