Did you grow up wanting to be the very best, like no one ever was? For millions of millennials, Pokemon might have been your first exposure to role-playing games, your first taste of anime, the first trading card game that made your parents blow their top – everyone has a story about Pokemon, no matter what form of entertainment you enjoy the most.
Well, Pokemon might be an even bigger part of your life than you think, as researchers recently found that playing Pokemon as a child might have caused your brain to develop a little differently!
Source: Know Your Meme
In a study published on 6th May, researchers from the University of California Berkeley and Stanford University found that people who play enough of the Pokemon games throughout their childhood develop a new brain region containing memory triggers related to Pokemon.
The study involved 11 novice and 11 experienced players, with the experienced players having first picked up the video game between the ages of 5-8, and could name hundreds of Pokemon. The novice players started much later.
MRI scans done on both groups while being shown images of Pokemon and normal animals mixed together revealed that a region of the brain called the occipitotemporal sulcus responded to images of Pokemon in experienced players, while novices had no such response.
In the video above, lead researcher Jessie Gomez says that, “We found a big difference between people who played Pokémon in their childhood versus those who didn’t,”
“Those people who are Pokémon experts not only develop a unique brain representation for Pokémon in the visual cortex, but the most interesting part to us is that the location of that response to Pokémon is consistent across people.”
Apparently, the part of the brain that recognised the Pokemon was in a “high level visual cortex” responsible for processing faces and words.
That’s really cool! Our favourite things from childhood often follow us into adult life, but we had no idea that something so simple could embed itself so deeply in our brains. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
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