This was posted on our class forum and I thought it was interesting.
Daphne Bavelier studies how humans learn — in particular, how the brain adapts to changes in experience, either by nature (for example, deafness) or by training (for example, playing video games). At her lab, her work shows that playing fast-paced, action-packed entertainment video games typically thought to be mind-numbing actually benefits several aspects of behavior.
My research indicates that students prosper when the subject matter challenges them right at the edge of their abilities. Make the lessons too difficult and the students get frustrated. Make them too easy and they get bored. Cognitive psychologists call this the “regime of competence” principle. The principle is central to video games: As players progress, puzzles become more complex, enemies swifter and more numerous, underlying patterns more subtle. Most games don’t allow progress until you’ve reached a certain level of expertise.
Watch this Ted Talk about brain training and how video games can have a positive effect on the human brain.