From the Archives: Some Brain Science for #VideoGamesDay

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People are hungry for data about video games and the brain. One of our most popular stories, still consistently in the Top 10, is a longreads Cerebrum essay from back in 2009, “Video Games Affect the Brain—for Better and Worse.” Writer Douglas Gentile, Ph.D., concludes:

With the exception of educational games, most video games’ effects on brain and behavior are unintentional on the part of both the designers and the players. Nonetheless, research suggests that the effects are real. Video games are neither good nor bad. Rather, they are a powerful form of entertainment that does what good entertainment is supposed to do—it influences us.

In 2012, we followed up with a news story on research targeting more specific areas of cognition that might be affected by playing video games:

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Dana_Subscrice_organe_800X800Don’t want to be on Twitter or Facebook 24/7? You won’t miss any of our news, briefing papers, Cerebrum essays, or helpful handouts if you subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter.

In the past few months, for example, we’ve posted

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An Observatory for the (Mouse) Brain

Guest post by Kayt Sukel 

Jérôme Lecoq prepares the OpenScope rig

Jérôme Lecoq prepares the OpenScope rig for an experiment. Image courtesy of Allen Institute for Brain Science

Any classic Star Trek fan worth their salt can easily summon the opening line for this beloved television show: “Space, the Final Frontier…” Now, the Allen Institute for Brain Science is trying to boldly go where no man—or lab—has gone before. It has announced OpenScope, a shared experimental program inviting neuroscientists around the globe to suggest studies and reap results using the Allen Brain Observatory, a standardized in vivo two-photon calcium imaging platform that investigates mouse visual cortex at the cellular level.

The project was inspired by astronomy observatories that share expensive equipment to help further advances in the field, says Jérôme Lecoq, Ph.D., senior manager of optical physiology at the Allen Institute. He and his colleagues consulted with researchers at the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii to better understand how they share resources successfully.

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Newly Translated Graphic Novel Tells the Life Story of Nobel Prize Winning Neuroscientist

“Life does not end with death. What you pass on to others remains. Immortality is not the body, which will one day die. That does not matter… of importance is the message you leave to others. That is immortality,” said founding European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB) member Rita Levi-Montalcini, winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for the discovery of nerve growth factor.

While Levi-Montalcini died in 2012, her legacy continues to live on through her contributions to neuroscience; the European Brain Research Institute (EBRI), which she founded in 2002; and now through a free graphic novel, “Rita Levi-Montalcini: A Pioneer in Neuroscience.” Produced by The Senato della Republica and EBRI, with support from EDAB, the graphic novel tells the story of how Levi-Montalcini overcame gender and religious discrimination in World War II Italy to become one of neuroscience’s most accomplished researchers.

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Brain in the News

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Image: Shutterstock

Are you subscribed to Brain in the News? Our free, monthly periodical has been circulating around the globe by the tens of thousands since 1994, keeping readers up to date with trending stories in the field of neuroscience.

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