The most important long-term study that has been carried out in the United States on the brain of children, concludes that video games train cognitive aspects that improve intelligence.

Although there are genetic aspects that influence intelligence, it is known that it can be trained to improve it. Studying, reading, the arts, physical exercise, and sleeping enough hours, develop intelligence in children. And also video games.

The ABCD Study is the largest study of children’s brains ever conducted in the United States. According to our colleague Carlos Ferrer-Bonsoms in Business Insider, more than 5,000 children between the ages of 10 and 12, representing all races, ethnicities, genders, and socioeconomic levels, were studied for two years to analyze their brain development.

One of the project’s conclusions is that children who spent an average of 17% more hours playing video games increased their IQ by 2.5 points over the two years of the study.

It is a significant report not only because it focuses on childhood brain development, but also because it takes into account aspects that do not appear in other similar initiatives, such as inherited genes and socioeconomic background.

The result does not mean that children who play video games are more intelligent than those who do not, because there are other ways to develop intelligence. But it does show that video games help in that intellectual development.

The problem is that many parents forbid their children to do so without knowing the reason: they have never played them, or they don’t understand them.

When they see their children staring at a screen they think they are hooked, but as any gamer knows, what happens is that you are focused.

Even infamous video games like Fortnite or Call of Duty foster cognitive aspects that develop intelligence: the ability to learn effectively, think rationally, understand complex ideas, and adapt to new situations.

When you play a video game you are not passively watching a video, as happens on social networks or television. The mind is active, and develops several activities in parallel: decision making, precision, adaptation to new situations, teamwork in online games, searching for imaginative solutions, and other tasks that science recognizes as training intelligence.

Of course, the study does not ensure that playing video games develops intelligence yes or yes. Other aspects influence, such as the quality of sleep, physical exercise, or intellectual activities (reading, learning, etc.).