Forget Brain Training: If you want a more physically developed brain, pick up your old copy of Tetris.

A study funded by the people behind Tetris and executed by the Mind Research Network shows that playing Tetris can actually physically change your brain. According to the report, time spent with the popular puzzle game can make some parts of your brain more efficient (shown in blue on the diagram), while other parts of the brain develop thicker cortexes (marked in red).

According to the doctors behind the study, their findings demonstrate that spending time with a “challenging visuospatial task” like Tetris – or indeed any puzzle game, one would presume – doesn’t just increase brain activity, but actively changes the physical structure of your gray matter.

Co-investigator Dr. Richard Haier thinks that these findings show that if games like Tetris do in fact create lasting physical changes to one’s mind, they might be used to, say, “help fight off the mental decline that occurs with aging.”

The study was carried out with adolescent females, who took MRIs before and after three months of Tetris. Presumably with time to sleep, eat, and use the bathroom, but one never knows with these scientific studies.

The report will be published Thursday in BMC Research Notes.


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