Super Mario 64 Used In New Study That Shows Video Games Increase Brain Size


A new study conducted the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charité University Medicine St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus shows that playing video games can significantly increase the size of a person’s brain. The right hippocampal formation, right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and bilateral cerebellum, which are areas of a person’s brain that govern spatial navigation, strategic planning, memory, and motor skills, all experienced notable increase in size when subjects played Super Mario 64 for at least one half hour per day over a period of two months.

The researchers also stated that this study may indicate that gaming can help patients of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, which has negative effects on the brain that cause it to shrink. It seems Nintendo is everywhere in the medical community these days, as the exciting results of this new study come not long after researchers at Cornwall showed that playing Wii can rehabilitate stroke patients. Here is what Simone Kuhn, leader of the study at the Max Planck Institute, had to say about the findings about the brain:

“While previous studies have shown differences in brain structure of video gamers, the present study can demonstrate the direct causal link between video gaming and a volumetric brain increase. This proves that specific brain regions can be trained by means of video games.”


      1. Indeed, the Yamauchi-Line is the most superior one to us all…

        I belong to the Miyamoto-Line…


      2. Lord Miyamoto is soon done molding an entire legion of Super Nintendo Soldiers after his image to take over in the near future…


      3. A single clone would send shockwaves across humanity. An entire legion would mean the next chapter in human history.


      1. Well just don’t play a whole lot, maybe like 2-5 hours a day, any more than that and thats bad and you need to stop playing games.


      2. Personal experience:

        All of the top-achieving students in all of my classes play video games.

        My success in school increased significantly once I got into video games (not so much in terms of marks – those were already great by my standards, but I found a huge jump in organization, as well as improved focus and time management skills).

        In short: Video games don’t hurt academics unless you play them so much that they get in the way of everything else (not likely).


      1. They probably don’t want you to play to much, School is more important, and video games can be bad if you play alot.


      2. I’m not trying to brag, but I’m doing REALLY well in school. Currently, I’m only playing Kid Icarus: uprising’s online multiplayer. I’m just waiting for my Wii U, and hopefully later on, a PS4.


  1. If that happens with Mario games how about people who play Zelda?
    With the puzzles + bossbattle attacking patterns it should train your brain more.


  2. Pretty much everything makes your brain better in certain areas, the key is to find an activity that makes every part better and no part worse.


  3. that’s funny.. because brain size doesn’t directly correlate with intelligence or ability
    just look at an elephants brain.. much bigger than ours


    1. Yes but in humans the evolution has proved that our brain has grown a lot during millions of years giving us more intelligence and faster mental cognition, so you can’t compare us with an elephant, we’re the most different mammals of this planet.


      1. i’m NOT comparing us to elephants (whose direct ancestors by the way have been around far longer than ours) i am saying that brain SIZE has nothing to do with intelligence or skill.. even if you compare one human to another
        AFAIR the biggest brain on record, according to guinness, belonged to some potato farmer somewhere in the rockies.. yes bigger than einsteins

        it may be that the increase in size is related to an increase in mental abilities but an increase in size alone doesn’t automatically mean people are getting smarter… could be a tumor aswell :P


    2. Actually. Brain proportion is what increases how sufficient a brain works. So technically speaking a bigger brain proportionately can increase intelligence if it’s not using the extra it has for stupid reasons.


  4. I have been playing a lot of Pokemon lately and befor anyone laughs…I’ve been doing the Ev training a lot specifically……thats math training if i ever saw it.


  5. Sorry to be a downer but this is typical video game journalism…no link to the study either here or on polygon. Also whilst there may be a causal link between plastic growth of these areas of the brain and playing video games…23 adults is an extremely small sample size and in no way ‘proves’ anything…not that any science proves anything but still, more patients would have benefited this study, as would making clear the study parameters and variables


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