Tetris mental health benefits revealed

Puzzle game aids trauma treatment progress

A new BBC report today reveals that, despite being infuriatingly addictive, playing Tetris can actually help reduce the impact of traumatic stress - that's the word from new UK research.

Participants in the new survey were shown 'distressing' images, then given the classic puzzle game to play for 30 minutes afterwards. Apparently, those playing the game experienced less frequent flashbacks, the game potentially disrupting 'the laying down of memories'.

The study was quick to point out that research could not match the intensity of real-life traumas, but researchers hope this discovery might help develop a viable approach to treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

"We wanted to find a way to dampen down flashbacks - the raw sensory images of trauma that are over-represented in the memories of those with PTSD. Tetris may work by competing for the brain's resources for sensory information," said Dr. Emily Holmes.

"We suggest it specifically interferes with the way sensory memories are laid down in the period after trauma and thus reduces the number of flashbacks that are experienced afterwards."

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