A study conducted by neuroscientist Richard Haier has determined that performing a "challenging visuospatial task" like Tetris can actually alter the structure of your brain.
Or at least the brains of adolescent girls, who were the subject of the study, funded by Tetris marketer Blue Planet Software. Adolescent girls' brains are still developing, as any adolescent boy can tell you, so their brains are more susceptible to the sort of change Haier was looking for, and change he indeed found. The girls were given MRI scans before and after three months of Tetris, and after the testing period it was found that certain areas (in blue above) showed greater efficiency, while others (in red) showed thicker cortexes, indicating more brain matter.
Future benefits of this study, says co-investigator Dr. Richard Haier, might be to "demonstrate that a player of Tetris does see lasting effects that generalize to other activity," showing for example that engaging in activities like playing some games might help fight off the mental decline that occurs with aging.
The full study is being published in Thursday's BMC Research Notes, but we get the general gist. Adolescent girls who play Tetris on a regular basis grow up to be completely awesome.
How Tetris Changes Your Brain [Wired]