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Tetris May Treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Update Date: Apr 28, 2012 01:45 AM EDT

Playing Tetris may treat PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, according to a new study.

Focusing on a highly engaging visual-spatial task, such as playing video games, may significantly reduce the occurrence of flashbacks, the mental images concerning the trauma that intrude on the sufferer afterward, researchers suggests.

Lead researcher Emily Holmes, a professor at Oxford, and colleagues hypothesize that the visual-spatial demands of Tetris disrupt the formation of the mental imagery involved in flashbacks.

The team had subjects view a disturbing film with sufficient simulation of real trauma and then finish one of three tasks: answering trivia; playing Tetris; or engaging in nothing in particular. Weeks later, subjects who had played Tetris reported experiencing significantly fewer flashbacks of the film than the others did.

Link to Original Study: Click

The work was presented at the British Psychology Society Annual Conference this week. 

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