In the brain of people found "Pokemon zone" – Naked Science


Psychologists at Stanford University conducted an experiment with people who, as children, loved Pokémon and often spent time playing games about them. They noted that the part of the occipital region of the brain responsible for vision responds vividly to the image of the Pokémon, in contrast to the same area in people who have never been interested in it. The paper was published in the journal Human nature behavior.

According to study leader Jesse Gomez (Jesse Gomez), he was interested in the question: "Why are there zones in the human brain that react to words and faces, but are not there those who also light up when they see cars, for example?" Previous experiments on monkeys have shown that for visual field education zones need to impact at a very early age. So Gomez remembered that when he was six years old, he used to play games called Pokémon Red and Blue, which were released by the Game Boy. He spent days behind them, and such an impact should be under the necessary requirements.

"The uniqueness of the Pokemon was that there are hundreds of them, you had to know everything about them to successfully complete the game. She rewarded you for understanding the differences between similar characters. If there was no separate zone for that, that would be impossible, "says Jesse Gomez.

The authors proceeded from the bias theory of eccentricity (bias of eccentricity). He says that the size and location of the categorized area of ​​the brain depends on two things: what part of the visual field the object occupies and which area of ​​vision it acts – central or peripheral. The Game Boy screen is extremely small, so only the central viewing area responded to it. Based on this, psychologists corrected the search for the area.

The reaction of ordinary people (a) and Pokemon lovers (b) to different visual stimuli, the ventral surface of the cortex is indicated / © Nature Human Behavior

The reaction of ordinary people (a) and Pokemon lovers (b) to different visual stimuli, the ventral surface of the cortex is indicated / © Nature Human Behavior

Jesse Gomez assembled a group of 11 people, which included him and lab manager Michael Barnett (Michael Barnett). These people spent their early childhood behind Pokémon Red and Blue. In addition to them, there was also a control group. All participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): at this time they were shown pixel images of the game's Pokémon. It has been found that the occipito-temporal groove (Occipitotemporal sulcus), while with other people she remained calm.

According to the authors, this study has become clear evidence that the brain at an early age is too plastic, able to isolate and fix frequent stimuli for a long time.

Recently, biologists at the University of Aalto (Finland) published an article in the journal Cognitive Social and Affective Neurosciencein which they described an experiment with 29 volunteers. In it, they have shown, with the help of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), how the opinions of people about the person are changing to get new information about their character.


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