Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Research: Tetris Possible Treatment for PTSD Flashbacks

Playing computer games that combine visual and spacial analysis -- like Tetris -- can help PTSD sufferers experience fewer flashbacks, according to research from the University of Oxford.

Calling the game-play a “cognitive vaccine,” the researchers write that the game competes with resources the brain would otherwise assign to trauma flashbacks:

“Visuospatial cognitive tasks selectively compete for resources required to generate mental images. Thus, a visuospatial computer game (e.g. “Tetris”) will interfere with flashbacks. Visuospatial tasks post-trauma, performed within the time window for memory consolidation, will reduce subsequent flashbacks. We predicted that playing “Tetris” half an hour after viewing trauma would reduce flashback frequency over 1-week.”

Read the paper here:
Can Playing the Computer Game “Tetris” Reduce the Build-Up of Flashbacks for Trauma? A Proposal from Cognitive Science

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