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Recently many friends of mine lost their love ones, I truly feel sorry to hear that.

Scientists from University of Oxford published an article in PLoS ONE journal showing that playing tetris may reduce traumatic stress.  40 volunteers were given to watch a film featuring traumatic images of injuries.  The participants were then assigned randomly to do nothing or play tetris for 30 minutes.  Those who played tetris had less ‘flashbacks’ to the traumatic images.

“Flashback” can be triggered by many signals, such as sound, sight, or smell.  Dr Emily Holmes thought that tetris game can be used as a treatment for patients who suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  The likely explanation for the tetris-cure is that the subject’s mind is competing for the resources to play the game, and this intefere with the sensory memory usage.  However the practical application of tetris on real patients may be difficult to develop.  The game does not help you forget, but not thinking about things.

Other authors in this paper are Ella L. James, Thomas Coode-Bate, and Catherine Deeprose.

(news [journal][pic][via])

Categories: General

2 Responses so far.

  1. As a trauma victim and 25 year sufferer of chronic/extreme PTSD, I find many problems with this Tetris study.

    1. In the 6-hour window after trauma, most trauma victims do not have access to Tetris. We are in police stations and hospitals undergoing examinations and interviews. We do not have time to play games.

    2. After a trauma we are in no emotional or cognitive shape to focus on playing a video game.

    3. The study does not actually simulate anything remotely close to trauma in the participants. They see graphic images – what we see in movies and on television and the web daily – they do not feel what trauma victims do, which is that their lives and physical well-being is threatened. Without this emotional imprint their reactions afterward are meaningless.

    Sorry to sound like I’m trashing the topic. But healing, curing and preventing PTSD is possible under the correct circumstances, which I don’t think the Tetris study illuminates at all.

    I myself am now into my second year of being PTSD-free. There are many of us healing over at http://parasitesofthemind.blogspot.com, where there is an ongoing workshop and tons of info and resources for treatment. And we’re doing it all without the benefit of Tetris. 🙂

  2. […] 前几天有则新闻说玩魔术方块可以让人暂时忘记不好的回忆,但我质疑该研究结果。这研究让一些人看恐怖的受伤影片,然后让一部份的人玩魔术方块,而那些玩魔术方块的人比较不会想起看过的恐怖伤口。我想现实中所造成的心灵伤害不是单单看恐怖片能制造的,而要让这些真受伤的人去玩一个游戏恐怕无比困难。 […]

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