Playing Tetris Helps Reduce Effects of PTSD

Videos Highlighting The Latest Search Trends.
April 26 2012 3:46 PM

Playing Tetris Helps Reduce Effects of PTSD

91275872
A new study suggests playing Tetris may reduce the effects of PTSD and similar forms of trauma.

Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

We all knew Tetris was a satisfying game, but placing those blocks just so may do much more than rack up points—it might reduce the effects of PTSD.

A study presented at the British Psychology Society’s Annual Conference this week suggests flashbacks, the jarring mental images that haunt those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, can be significantly reduced by engaging in the visual-spatial tasks of video game play.

Advertisement

Soldiers or others who deal with the reoccurring, nightmarish memories have reported the finding anecdotally before. But the British study tested the theory, showing subjects a disturbing film to simulate trauma and then asking them to do different tasks. Those who played Tetris experienced fewer flashbacks. Scientists believe the game’s high demand on visual special skills disrupts and prevents the mental imagery of the flashbacks.

This is good news—as long as patients don’t mind seeing rotating blocks when they close their eyes at night.

 

Video produced by Paca Thomas.

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Photography
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Television
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 21 2014 11:38 PM “Welcome to the War of Tomorrow” How Futurama’s writers depicted asymmetrical warfare.
  Health & Science
The Good Word
Sept. 21 2014 11:44 PM Does This Name Make Me Sound High-Fat? Why it just seems so right to call a cracker “Cheez-It.”
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.