Space Industry and Business News  





.
TECH SPACE
Tetris Flashback Reduction Effect Not Common To All Game

Those who had played Tetris experienced significantly fewer flashbacks of the film than those who did nothing, whilst those who played Pub Quiz experienced significantly more flashbacks.
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Nov 12, 2010
The computer game Tetris may have a special ability to reduce flashbacks after viewing traumatic images not shared by other types of computer game, Oxford University scientists have discovered in a series of experiments.

In earlier laboratory work the Oxford team showed that playing Tetris after traumatic events could reduce memory flashbacks in healthy volunteers. These are a laboratory model of the types of intrusive memories associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In this new experimental study, the researchers compared the effectiveness of Tetris at reducing flashbacks with Pub Quiz Machine 2008, a word-based quiz game. They found that whilst playing Tetris after viewing traumatic images reduced flashbacks by contrast playing Pub Quiz increased the frequency of flashbacks.

A report of the research is published in this week's edition of the journal PLoS ONE.

In two separate experiments, the team showed a film to healthy volunteers that included traumatic images of injury from a variety of sources, including adverts highlighting the dangers of drink driving - a recognised way to study the effects of trauma in the laboratory.

In the first experiment, after waiting for 30 minutes, 20 volunteers played Tetris for 10 minutes, 20 played Pub Quiz, in which they had to select one of four on-screen answers, for 10 minutes and 20 did nothing.

Those who had played Tetris experienced significantly fewer flashbacks of the film than those who did nothing, whilst those who played Pub Quiz experienced significantly more flashbacks.

In the second experiment, this wait was extended to four hours, with 25 volunteers in each group. Those who played Tetris again had significantly fewer flashbacks that the other two groups. In both experiments, all groups were equally able to recall specific details of the film.

'Our latest findings suggest Tetris is still effective as long as it is played within a critical six-hour window after viewing a stressful film,' said Dr Emily Holmes of Oxford University's Department of Psychiatry, who led the work.

'Whilst playing Tetris can reduce flashback-type memories without wiping out the ability to make sense of the event, we have shown that not all computer games have this beneficial effect - some may even have a detrimental effect on how people deal with traumatic memories.'

These latest findings support how the team believes the approach works:

The mind is considered to have two separate channels of thought: one is sensory and deals with our direct perceptual experience of the world through sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.

The other channel is conceptual, and is responsible for putting together these perceptual experiences in a meaningful way - putting them into context. Generally, these two channels work in balance with each other, for example, we would use one channel to see and hear someone talk and the other to comprehend the meaning of what they are saying.

However, when someone is exposed to traumatic information, these channels are thought to function unequally so that the perceptual information is emphasised over the conceptual information. This means we are less likely to remember the experience of being in a high-speed road traffic collision as a coherent story, and more likely to remember it by the flash of headlights and noise of a crash.

This perceptual information then pops up repeatedly in the victim's mind in the form of flashbacks to the trauma causing great emotional distress, as little conceptual meaning has been attached to them.

Research tells us that there is a period of up to six hours after the trauma in which it is possible to interfere with the way that these traumatic memories are formed in the mind. During this time-frame, certain tasks can compete with the same brain channels that are needed to form the memory.

This is because there are limits to our abilities in each channel: for example, it is difficult to hold a conversation while doing maths problems.

The Oxford team reasoned that recognising the shapes and moving the coloured building blocks around in Tetris competes with the images of trauma in the perceptual information channel. Consequently, the images of trauma (the flashbacks) are reduced.

The team believe that this is not a simple case of distracting the mind with a computer game, as answering general knowledge questions in the Pub Quiz game increased flashbacks.

The researchers believe that this verbal based game competes with remembering the contextual meaning of the trauma, so the visual memories in the perceptual channel are reinforced and the flashbacks are increased.

Dr Holmes said: 'Whist this work is still experimental, and any potential treatment is a long way off, we are beginning to understand how intrusive memories/flashbacks are formed after trauma, and how we can use science to explore new preventative treatments.'

The group will continue to develop this approach further as a potential intervention to reduce the flashbacks experienced in PTSD, but emphasise that the research is still in the early stages, and careful steps need to be taken before this can be tested clinically.




Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Public Library of Science
Space Technology News - Applications and Research



Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
TECH SPACE
Minds control computers in study
Pasadena, Calif. (UPI) Oct 27, 2010
A machine that can allow people to control a computer using just their thoughts could open up the world for locked-in syndrome sufferers, U.S. scientists claim. Sensors embedded in the brain have allowed subjects in a study to move a cursor around the screen and fade and brighten images using just their brain, Britain's Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday. Locked-in syndrome is a ... read more

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  


TECH SPACE
Tetris Flashback Reduction Effect Not Common To All Game

Original Apple 1 computer to be auctioned

All Systems Nominal Aboard LM BSAT-3b Satellite

EOS Welcomes Australian-US Partnership To Track Space Junk

TECH SPACE
DSP Satellite System Celebrates 40 Years

ManTech Awarded US Army Contract To Provide ECCS In Afghanistan

Hughes Undergoing Wideband Global SATCOM Certification

ORBIT To Supply Tri-Band Telemetry Tracking Systems To Patuxent River USNAWC

TECH SPACE
ULA Launches 350th Delta

Hispasat 1E And KOREASAT Will Ride On 199th Arianespace Launcher

Indonesia building satellite launcher

NASA Selects Companies For Heavy-Lift Launch Vehicle Studies

TECH SPACE
GPS IIF-1 Introduces A Host Of New Capabilities For Users

Lockheed Martin Delivers Key GPS III Test Hardware Ahead of Schedule

Few Americans using location-based services: Pew study

GPS maker Garmin hanging up on smartphones

TECH SPACE
Britain signs jet engine deal with China as PM visits

Flights resume to Indonesia after volcano chaos

Argentina, Brazil to build cargo plane

BOC Aviation orders 30 Airbus A320

TECH SPACE
Microsoft sues Motorola over 'excessive' royalty demands

Motorola fires back against Microsoft in patent dispute

Intel opens biggest ever chip plant in Vietnam

Intel to open billion-dollar chip plant in Vietnam

TECH SPACE
Enhancing Sustainable Development Of Earth

Go For Getz And A South Pole Flyover

NASA Study Quantifies Role Of Melt In Loss Of Old Arctic Sea Ice

FCC investigating Google 'Street View' data harvest

TECH SPACE
U.S. Army seeking quick water test

One by one, Laos's cluster bombs legacy goes up in smoke

China to rein in dioxin emissions to help air quality

BPA eliminated through urination: WHO


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement