home
RSS
Traumatized? Playing Tetris may reduce flashbacks
November 10th, 2010
05:49 PM ET

Traumatized? Playing Tetris may reduce flashbacks

The rapid-fire visual puzzles that make Tetris so engrossing may also make the video game a promising treatment for post-traumatic stress, a new study suggests.

Recurring, intrusive thoughts of a traumatic event (or events) are one of the hallmark symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a type of anxiety disorder. According to the study, which appears in the journal PLoS ONE, playing Tetris soon after a traumatic experience appears to protect against these flashbacks, by distracting the brain from the event and short-circuiting how upsetting memories and images are stored.

Not just any video game will do. Notably, the study found that games that rely on trivia or language skills don't appear to have the same therapeutic effect as stacking Tetris blocks, probably because they activate different areas of the brain.

Health.com: Can ecstasy help ease post-traumatic stress?

"Verbal tasks may not be as effective because they will not affect the same neural networks," says Dr. Alexander Obolsky, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois, who specializes in the treatment of PTSD. "It's a different part of the brain that processes that information." (Obolsky was not involved in the new research.)

To explore the effect of Tetris on post-traumatic stress, researchers in the UK used a well-known lab model of trauma: They showed a series of upsetting film clips (fatal car accidents, graphic surgery) to 60 people, then asked the participants to record how often they experienced flashbacks from the film.

The volunteers, who had no history of mental health problems, were divided into three groups. Shortly after watching the film, one group played Tetris, another played a word-based quiz computer game, and the third simply sat quietly.

Health.com: Playing Tetris may build up your brain

In the first 10 minutes, the participants who played Tetris had just four flashbacks, on average. By comparison, the quiz-game players had about six flashbacks, and the participants who did nothing had 12 flashbacks.

More importantly, the protective effect of Tetris seemed to be lasting. Over the following week, members of the Tetris group continued to experience fewer flashbacks compared with the quiz-game and control groups. (The researchers asked the participants to record their flashbacks in a diary.) The group who played the quiz game actually experienced more flashbacks over the week than the group who did nothing.

"A visuospatial task such as Tetris may offer a 'cognitive vaccine' against the development of PTSD flashbacks after exposure to traumatic events," the researchers concluded. The study was led by Emily Holmes, a senior research fellow in psychiatry at Oxford University.

Health.com: Study: Too many video games may sap attention span

While the results of the experiment suggest a way to head off PTSD, much more research is needed before experts can start recommending Tetris or similar visual tasks for trauma victims in the real world.

"If this indeed keeps working in various situations in further studies, then perhaps at one point we can try it with people who have actual PTSD," Obolsky says. But, he adds, "there are years before this may or may not have something to do with what I do in my office with my patients."

Effective therapies that can be administered within hours of a traumatic event are desperately needed, Holmes and her colleagues write. In fact, they note, some existing forms of early intervention counseling can even make PTSD symptoms worse.

Post by:
Filed under: Brain • PTSD

soundoff (695 Responses)
  1. Sprinter Repair Orange County

    The very next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn't disappoint me just as much as this one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, however I genuinely thought you'd have something useful to say. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something you could fix if you were not too busy looking for attention.

    https://www.radar.techcabal.com/clicks/track?url=ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-furniture-repair-near-me/

    June 18, 2021 at 21:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Repairs Nearby

    Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Spending some time and actual effort to create a good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a whole lot and never manage to get anything done.

    http://hzql.ziwoyou.net/m2c/2/s_date0.jsp?tree_id=0&sdate=2019-11-01&url=ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-awning-repair-near-me/

    June 18, 2021 at 21:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. dentists near me

    Good web site you have got here.. Itís difficult to find quality writing like yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    http://2010.russianinternetweek.ru/bitrix/rk.php?goto=https://quotenearme.com

    June 18, 2021 at 23:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Repair Near My Location

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful post. Many thanks for supplying these details.

    https://www.paltalk.com/client/webapp/client/External.wmt?url=https://ocrvcenter.com/boom-truck-repair-near-me/

    June 19, 2021 at 00:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. rv for sale near me

    https://autofans.joj.sk/api/rdr.php?key=Husqvarna+Ambassador&rdr=https://nearmyspot.com/

    June 19, 2021 at 00:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Repair

    I enjoy reading a post that can make people think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!

    http://www.bing.com/news/apiclick.aspx?ref=FexRss&aid=&url=http://www.ocrv.guru/motorhome-roof-repair-near-me

    June 19, 2021 at 05:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. RV Repair Shops Near Me

    https://yousite.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.ocrv.club/rv-repair-shop-acton-california/

    June 19, 2021 at 09:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Repair Near My Location

    I blog frequently and I truly appreciate your content. The article has really peaked my interest. I am going to book mark your website and keep checking for new details about once per week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

    http://www.oliverhume.com.au/enquiry/thank-you/?redirectTo=ocrvcenter.com/about/

    June 19, 2021 at 11:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. beaches near me

    http://cesarv14y2.actoblog.com/5582759/the-fact-about-repairing-services-that-no-one-is-suggesting

    June 19, 2021 at 14:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Repair California

    https://irwebcast.com/cgi-local/report/redirect.cgi?url=ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-villa-park-california

    June 19, 2021 at 14:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RV Repair Shops Near My Location

    https://www.export.org.au/Redirect.aspx?destination=http://ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-interior-remodeling-near-me

    June 19, 2021 at 18:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Repair Near My Location

    Having read this I believed it was extremely enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this short article together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

    https://yellowpages.uticaod.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=http://bit.ly/3e5sYuC/

    June 19, 2021 at 21:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RV Repair Places Near Me

    https://www.gladbeck.de/ExternerLink.asp?ziel=http://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-victorville-california/

    June 20, 2021 at 00:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Digital Marketing Agency Near Me

    Good post. I will be going through some of these issues as well..

    http://charlie-dont-surf.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.affordableranking.com

    June 20, 2021 at 00:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Content Marketing Service

    The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it won't fail me just as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought you would have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something you could possibly fix if you weren't too busy searching for attention.

    http://risinggroup.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=http://www.affordableranking.com/

    June 20, 2021 at 01:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Local Marketing Consultant

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It is the little changes which will make the greatest changes. Thanks for sharing!

    https://traflinks.com/cloud-tools/uniq/index.php?url=http://www.affordableranking.com

    June 20, 2021 at 02:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Social Media Marketing Businesses

    https://www.aminglingoftastes.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.affordableranking.com/

    June 20, 2021 at 03:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Internet Marketing Consultants Near Me

    I have to thank you for the efforts you've put in penning this site. I really hope to view the same high-grade blog posts by you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal website now 😉

    https://silverspringtownship.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com/

    June 20, 2021 at 04:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Google Marketing Service

    https://local.kristv.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=http://affordableranking.com

    June 20, 2021 at 09:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Brock Conney

    https://freedback.com/thank_you.php?u=https://mymixlab.com/

    June 20, 2021 at 11:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Marlin Maj

    This site was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Thanks!

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/no_outbounds.php?o=https://www.personaltrainerhub.com

    June 20, 2021 at 11:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Yajaira Popadiuk

    http://biz.timesfreepress.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://www.affordableranking.com

    June 20, 2021 at 13:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. casino island to go

    Thể Thaocasino appLiverpool là ĐộI bóng nhận ít thẻ nhất ở Premier League mùa này và đang được đứng trước thời cơ đạt giải thưởng Fair Play ở mùa giải loại 5 tiếp tục. Sau Khi thăng hạng 96 toàn cầu, đội tuyển Việt Nam đã lọt nhóm phân tử tương đương số 2 vòng loại World Cup 2022 khu vực vực châu Á.

    https://www.vnd188.bet/

    June 20, 2021 at 13:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Ali Fettig

    https://de.paltalk.com/client/webapp/client/External.wmt?url=www.heatingairconditioningcontractorsanaheimhills.com

    June 20, 2021 at 15:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Kendall Cleveland

    https://www.earth-policy.org/?URL=https://www.lesbianassworship.net

    June 20, 2021 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Randal Poser

    http://help.dedecms.com/plus/player/index.php?url=https://www.hootnholler.net/

    June 20, 2021 at 18:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Repair Orange County California

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you, However I am experiencing troubles with your RSS. I donít understand why I can't join it. Is there anybody else having the same RSS issues? Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    http://www.kookiedough.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    June 20, 2021 at 21:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. wells fargo near me

    I'm pretty pleased to discover this great site. I want to to thank you for your time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to see new stuff in your web site.

    https://www.kyrktorget.se/includes/statsaver.php?type=kt&id=8517&url=http://bjsnearme.com

    June 20, 2021 at 22:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. tire repair near me

    I really like it when people come together and share thoughts. Great website, stick with it!

    http://www.cheappoolchemicals.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=reviewnearme.com

    June 20, 2021 at 23:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Repair Shops Nearby

    This website was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something that helped me. Many thanks!

    http://www.tangranny.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    June 21, 2021 at 01:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. supercuts near me

    This page really has all the information and facts I needed about this subject and didnít know who to ask.

    http://dekosapo.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bulknearme.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 02:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. salon near me

    http://russianschoolgirls.net/out.php?http://bestshopnearme.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 05:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV Repair Nearby

    Can I simply say what a relief to discover somebody who truly understands what they are discussing on the net. You definitely understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people must look at this and understand this side of the story. I was surprised you are not more popular because you most certainly have the gift.

    http://tourismchiangrai.com/goto.php?id=6&goto=https://ocrvcenter.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 08:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. boba near me

    http://www.adventuresonly.com/redirecthandler.ashx?url=https://quotenearme.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 08:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. car rentals near me

    http://nmblibrary.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=nearmyspot.com

    June 21, 2021 at 09:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. iphone repair near me

    http://passportnissanmd.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=nearmyspot.com

    June 21, 2021 at 11:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. fishing near me

    http://ivb.energymeasurementproducts.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=nearmyspot.com

    June 21, 2021 at 13:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Repair Garden Grove

    Hello, I do think your site could possibly be having internet browser compatibility issues. Whenever I take a look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in IE, it's got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Besides that, great site!

    http://alexisfelderministries.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    June 21, 2021 at 13:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Sprinter Van Paint Shop

    http://onehitwonderradio.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=customcampervans.com

    June 21, 2021 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Water Repair Man Near Me

    http://www.cuttingedgesystems.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.pro

    June 21, 2021 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Dodge Sprinter Van Repair

    http://www.seism.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=sprintervanrepair.com

    June 21, 2021 at 15:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. 2000 Chevy Conversion Van Body Repair Panels

    http://bearingwarehouse.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=fleetservicesocrv.com

    June 21, 2021 at 17:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. hospital near me

    Everyone loves it when people come together and share thoughts. Great site, keep it up!

    https://www.artslaw.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=earme.a2hosted.com

    June 21, 2021 at 18:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RV Collision Repair Near Me

    A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment. I think that you need to publish more about this subject matter, it may not be a taboo matter but typically people don't speak about these subjects. To the next! Kind regards!!

    http://www.simpson-thatcher.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.guru

    June 21, 2021 at 20:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Repair Seal Beach

    You made some really good points there. I looked on the net to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.

    http://www.carlvolk.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvmotorsports.co

    June 21, 2021 at 23:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Specialty Van Repair Shop Near Me

    http://onlykansascity.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=campervanrepairshop.com

    June 21, 2021 at 23:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Air Conditioner Repair Near Me

    http://compcycles.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvparts.com

    June 22, 2021 at 00:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Rv Collision Repair Shop

    http://depthpsychology.us/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=fleetservicerepairshop.com

    June 22, 2021 at 03:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. City Bus Repair

    http://bestwesterneurope.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvfleetservices.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 04:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Sprinter Van Wrap Shop Near Me

    I couldnít refrain from commenting. Very well written!

    http://gmenetwork.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=sprinterrepairnearme.com

    June 22, 2021 at 09:39 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Leave a Reply to Ford Cargo Van Repair Shop


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.