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Video game playing may heighten IQs, study shows
Theres good news for kids who love to play video games: hours spent gaming may actually increase mental capability. - photo by Robynn Garfield
NEW YORK Theres good news for kids who love to play video games: hours spent gaming may actually increase mental capability.

Researchers studied 3,195 children ages 6-11 who live in Europe. They founds kids who reported playing more than one hour of video games a day up to five hours a day had elevated IQs.

Video game playing is often a collaborative leisure time activity for school-aged children, Katherine M. Keyes, PhD, assistant professor of Epidemiology at Columbia, in a press release.

Keyes and her team looked at how many hours of video games each child reported playing per day and factored in variables such as gender, family size and age. The results showed increased social and mental capabilities for children who reported playing five or more hours of video games per week.

These results indicate that children who frequently play video games may be socially cohesive with peers and integrated into the school community, Keyes said.

Children who played video games regularly showed 1.75 the odds of higher intellectual capabilities and 1.88 times the capability in school performance.

Keyes offered caution to parents and educators when interpreting the results of the study.

We caution against over interpretation, however, as setting limits on screen usage remains an important component of parental responsibility as an overall strategy for student success," Keyes said.

A comprehensive study conducted in 2015 out of the University of Montreal showed that brain development in children who play an excessive amount of video games per week can stunt mental capabilities and lead to depression and anxiety later in life.

This means that people who spend a lot of time playing video games may have reduced hippocampal integrity, Dr. Gregory Wes from the University of Montreal said, which is associated with an increased risk of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease."

In summation, West said, playing a moderate amount of video games can be beneficial to childrens development, but playing an excessive amount leads to neurological problems later in life.