Research Suggests Playing Tetris Can Help With the Recovery Of A Car Crash Trauma

By Abbie Kraft, Parent Herald April 11, 05:48 am

Researchers revealed that playing Tetris can help a car crash victim recover from trauma. They mentioned that the game can help ward off painful and intrusive memories of the experience as it diverts the players' attention.

A group of researchers from the UK and Sweden came up with a study where it was announced that playing the game Tetris can potentially help a recovering car crash victim. The controlled trial was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, as reported by NPR.

Experts explained that playing games like Tetris can potentially block the consolidation form. They added that the same can intrude the memory that was caused by a traumatic event.

What made Tetris effective is the fact that it hinders the brain from multitasking. Playing the game requires extensive use of imagination, thus it does not give the mind enough time to envision the traumatic memory.

"An intrusive memory is a visual memory of a traumatic event," Emily Holmes, Professor of Psychology at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, whose team led the study stated during an interview. "Tetris also requires imagination and vision. Your brain can't do two things at once, so this interrupts.

The researchers studied 71 patients who had presented to the John Radcliffe Hospital emergency room in Oxford, England, within six hours of being in a car accident. The researchers added that they asked the repondents to recall their trauma and their experience.

They explained that 20 of the participants were asked to play Tetris for 20 minutes on a handheld Nintendo DS XL. Experts also asked the others to fill out an activity log of what they went through while the rest were the control group.

Even though it may seem like a potential therapy, researchers pointed out that more research needs to be done for Tetris to be used as part of the therapy. Aside from Tetris, Holmes and her team are also exploring other video games as they strive to come up with ways to help those who underwent a car crash trauma.

"More research is definitely needed to develop this approach," Holmes added, as mentioned in CNN. "But we're encouraged. And we need to develop preventative interventions that can be delivered soon after trauma to prevent the buildup of symptoms." Think of such an intervention as a kind of "cognitive vaccine."

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