A new study suggests that playing Tetris, and possibly other quick moving visual puzzles, could be used to treat flashbacks that are associated with issues like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Researchers have showed upsetting bits of film to 60 subjects and then asked them to note down how often they experienced flashbacks to the graphics and unsettling images.
They were then separated into three groups, one for control, one which played Tetris and one which played a computer game but based around words and not images.
All the subjects had no history of mental health issues and the group which played Tetris reported than in 10 minutes they had just four flashbacks on average, with the word game group getting six of them and the control group experiencing about 12.
The effectiveness of Tetris also seems to be the biggest in the long term.
The researchers concluded that, “A visuospatial task such as Tetris may offer a ‘cognitive vaccine’ against the development of PTSD flashbacks after exposure to traumatic events.”
The study has been published in the journal PloS ONE and says that playing Tetris occupies the brain and distracts it, making it more difficult for troubling memories to form by disrupting the mechanism which is used to transfer images from the short to the long term memories.
Read the full article at SoftPedia.