Tetris As A Treatment For PTSD

Tetris is not just for procrastination anymore. A new recent study from Oxford University shows playing Tetris a few hours after being exposed to trauma can help reduce symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Researchers found the block-dropping action-a visually oriented task will positively interfere with other visual (negative) memories. The research also shows the opposite is true—if you perform a verbal task such as playing a quiz game after a traumatic event, you'll likely experience more trauma flashbacks.

The study is based on two experiments with 60 participants.In the first experiment, participants watched a movie for 30 minutes that contained disturbing images such as scenes of injury and death. Then given a 10 minute break and split into three groups. 20 played Tetris, 20 played a game called Pub Quiz and the final 20 sat and did nothing.

The participants who played Tetris suffered from fewer flashbacks. The group who played Pub Quiz suffered from the worst flashbacks out of all the groups.

The second experiment extended the time spent watching the movie from 30 minutes to 4 hours. After watching the film, Tetris players were still found to experience fewer flashbacks than any other group.

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