Adults Who Played Pok émon Extensively In Childhood Have A Pokémon-Sensitive Region In Their Visual Cortex

By Emma Young If you have healthy vision, there will be a specific region of your brain (in the visual cortex) that responds most strongly whenever you look at faces, and similar regions that are especially responsive to the sight of words or natural scenes. What’s more, in any two people, these face, word and scene regions are located in pretty much the same spot in the brain. However, there is not a specific region for every possible category of visible stimulus – there are no “car” or “shoe” regions, for example (at least, not that have been identified to date). Is that because childhood experience is critical for training the visual cortex – we spend a lot of time looking at faces, say, but not cars? And, if so, in theory, could a lot of childhood time spent looking at a different type of object generate its own dedicated, individual category region?  The answer is “yes”, at least according to an ingenious study, published in Nature Human Behaviour, of people who played a Pokémon game for years of their childhood.  Jesse Gomez led the new study while a graduate student at Stanford University. He was looking for a way to test whether there’s a critical developmental window for the formation of dedicated category regions in the human visual cortex, just as there is in macaque monkeys. He needed a kind of visual stimulus that some adults had been exposed to intensively in childhood but others ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Brain Source Type: blogs

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