Playing with Pokémon as a child can alter your brain

Gaming Nintendo Partners Science Technology

By Caitlynn McDaniel

PHOENIX – For those who lived by the motto “gotta catch ’em all,” catching Pokémon was like second nature. You spent your free time trying to evolve your Pokémon and defeat other trainers. But little did you know, you were permanently altering your brain! 

Being a Pokémon master can lead to a change in the brain’s visual cortex. Simply put, they have a part of their brain devoted to recognizing Pokemon images. Scientists are calling it the “Pokémon Region.” 

The visual cortex is developed at an early age and is used to process visual information. This study was done by Nature Human Behavior, a group of researchers at Stanford University. They discovered that a part of the brain in Pokémon players lit up under an fMRI when they saw their beloved characters. Others who had not played did not have this result. Non-players had this part of the brain light up when they saw animals, cartoons and words. 

This does not really mean those who have played Pokémon growing up have any special abilities when it comes to brain power. They just all store their Pokémon knowledge in one area of their brains. Pretty cool, right?

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