Q: Do you think there’s any benefit to my 9-year-old granddaughter playing video games? — P.L., Atlanta
A: Believe it or not, psychologists have found that carefully chosen non-violent games do have some surprising brain-enhancing benefits.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota looked at existing research on video games and found that avid video game players are fast and accurate information processors, not only during game play, but in real-life situations as well. For example, regular video gamers got faster not only on their game of choice, but on a variety of unrelated lab tests of reaction time. Additionally, the researchers found that contrary to the popular belief that fast decisions lead to more mistakes, avid gamers do not lose accuracy (in the game or in lab tests) as they get faster. They also found that playing video games enhances performance on mental rotational skills, visual and