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. Digital Marketing Specialist

    http://www.redlara.com/idioma.asp?MYPK3=ing&URLI=http://www.affordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 10:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Internet Marketing Management

    http://cb.echographics.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 13:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. wall paint shops near me

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

    May 8, 2021 at 14:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Internet Marketing Companies

    I absolutely love your site.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you create this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m trying to create my own blog and would like to learn where you got this from or what the theme is called. Appreciate it!

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

    May 8, 2021 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. RV Fiberglass Riverside

    https://dz4link.com/g33A

    May 8, 2021 at 18:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Bathroom Los Angeles

    https://bit.ly/32aG1oY

    May 8, 2021 at 20:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Social Media Marketing Companies

    This is a good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate info… Thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!

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

    May 8, 2021 at 21:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Content Marketing Services

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

    May 9, 2021 at 02:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Local Marketing Programs

    Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve visited this site before but after browsing through many of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Regardless, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!

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

    May 9, 2021 at 03:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Body Shop Near Me

    https://aii.sh/8HsPUkdp

    May 9, 2021 at 06:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RV Paint Shop Los Angeles

    https://oke.io/1GJPB1Hh

    May 9, 2021 at 08:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Bay Doors Los Angeles

    Aw, this was an extremely good post. Spending some time and actual effort to make a good article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot and don't seem to get anything done.

    https://cpmlink.net/Js5sAQ

    May 9, 2021 at 08:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Google Marketing Program

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thanks, However I am going through difficulties with your RSS. I don’t understand why I can't subscribe to it. Is there anyone else having the same RSS problems? Anybody who knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

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

    May 9, 2021 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Content Marketing California

    http://greatgazoo.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 10:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Internet Marketing Experts

    I really like it whenever people come together and share opinions. Great blog, stick with it!

    http://taboozoo.biz/out.php?http://affordableranking.com

    May 9, 2021 at 16:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. RV Fabrication California

    https://ldgame37.com/v.php?url=http://ocrvcenter.com

    May 9, 2021 at 19:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RV Upholstery Los Angeles

    http://akm56.ru/bitrix/rk.php?goto=http://ocrvcenter.com

    May 9, 2021 at 20:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Social Media Marketing Companies Near Me

    http://adventurephilanthropy.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 10, 2021 at 14:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Content Marketing Agency Near Me

    Great site you have got here.. It’s hard to find high quality writing like yours nowadays. I really appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    https://home.palbeck.de/links_partner.php?site=http3A2F2Faffordableranking.com

    May 10, 2021 at 14:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Google Marketing Consultant

    I really like reading a post that will make men and women think. Also, many thanks for allowing for me to comment!

    http://etkinogretmen.com/?wptouch_switch=desktop&redirect=http3A2F2Faffordableranking.com

    May 10, 2021 at 19:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Internet Marketing Company Near Me

    Good site you've got here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like yours nowadays. I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

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

    May 10, 2021 at 21:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Social Media Marketing Program

    I was able to find good advice from your articles.

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

    May 10, 2021 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Social Media Marketing Businesses Near Me

    http://personas.vg/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.affordableranking.com

    May 10, 2021 at 22:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Video Marketing Pros

    http://www.wmcfasthealth.com/goto.php?url=affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 07:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Video Marketing Orange County

    Everything is very open with a precise description of the issues. It was really informative. Your website is very useful. Many thanks for sharing!

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

    May 11, 2021 at 08:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Local Marketing Firms

    Excellent site you've got here.. It’s difficult to find excellent writing like yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

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

    May 11, 2021 at 08:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Content Marketing Agency

    I used to be able to find good information from your blog posts.

    http://www.whatzup.com/analytics/track?url=http://www.affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 09:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Digital Marketing Agency Near Me

    https://www.lernen-foerdern-rsk.de/?jumpurl=https://affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 09:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Social Media Marketing Service

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

    May 11, 2021 at 11:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Google Marketing Engineer

    Saved as a favorite, I love your website!

    http://workingpaper.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 11, 2021 at 13:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Internet Marketing Help

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which too few people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I found this during my search for something concerning this.

    https://www.crosstexenergyinc.info/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=internetmarketingnevada.com

    May 11, 2021 at 15:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Social Media Marketing Program

    http://www.lifetree.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=makemoneymommas.com

    May 11, 2021 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Local Marketing Jobs

    Everything is very open with a precise explanation of the issues. It was truly informative. Your website is very useful. Thanks for sharing!

    https://5starparts.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bestservicenearme.com

    May 11, 2021 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Content Marketing Firm

    http://www.zalp.org.ua/bb3/go.php?http://www.bulknearme.com

    May 11, 2021 at 18:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. RV Windows Near Me

    http://www.hobowars.com/game/linker.php?url=http://www.yelp.com/biz/ocrv-center-anaheim-4

    May 11, 2021 at 21:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. orange county trailer supply

    Spot on with this write-up, I honestly believe this website needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the info!

    http://gar86.tmweb.ru/bitrix/rk.php?goto=https://ocrv.today/motorhome-service-near-me

    May 11, 2021 at 21:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. safeco windshield repair

    This website definitely has all of the information and facts I wanted concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    https://blogranking.fc2.com/out.php?id=1032500&url=https://youtube.com/watch?v=j5CE6R4KLz4

    May 11, 2021 at 22:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. cabinet repair orange county

    https://www.tinyportal.net/proxy.php?request=https://ocrvcenter.mobi/truck-camper-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 02:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. rv repair service

    http://genki365.net/gnka01/common/redirect.php?url=http://youtube.com/watch?v=ARGDTWl9L9Q

    May 12, 2021 at 03:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. prostar collision center

    https://www.bookforum.com/ads/www/delivery/ck.php?ct=1&oaparams=2__bannerid=967__zoneid=1__source=ad__cb=01bb4cc389__oadest=https://ocrv.vip/rv-repair-shop-baldwin-park-california

    May 12, 2021 at 06:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Dodge Van Frame Repair Kit

    The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not disappoint me as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read, however I really believed you would probably have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you weren't too busy searching for attention.

    https://record.affiliatelounge.com/_WS-jvV39_rv4IdwksK4s0mNd7ZgqdRLk/7/?deeplink=https://fleetvehiclerepairshop.com/airport-van-repair-shop-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Headlights Riverside

    The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won't fail me just as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, however I genuinely believed you would probably have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something you could possibly fix if you were not too busy looking for attention.

    http://www.geokniga.org/ext_link?url=http://www.goo.gl/maps/iCzoZ1dDPjhG6Dsh6

    May 12, 2021 at 13:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. national interstate rv insurance reviews

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

    https://s5.histats.com/stats/r.php?869637&100&47794&urlr=&ocrvshop.com/motorhome-couch-repair-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. rv chassis repair near me

    https://www.cropscience.bayer.ca/?setlanguage=en&returnUrl=https://youtube.com/watch?v=7-7aMOCfRPY

    May 12, 2021 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. box truck repair panels

    https://store.law.com/linkredirector/default.asp?lrcat=BLOGNetwork&lrurl=https://ocrv.pro/bucket-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. reupholster places near me

    https://www.sprinter-forum.de/clickcounter?url=http://ocrv.guru/cargo-van-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    May 12, 2021 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Upholstery Los Angeles

    https://la.churchofjesuschrist.org/Shibboleth.sso/Logout?return=http3A2F2Finstagram.com/ocrvcenter

    May 12, 2021 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Upgrades California

    https://www.mydriversafetyrating.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=yelp.com/biz/ocrv-center-anaheim-4

    May 12, 2021 at 18:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. ac shop near me

    http://egov2.miamigov.com/Office_of_Auditor_General/admin/Portal/LinkClick.aspx?tabid=1&table=Announcements&field=ItemID&id=98&link=https://ocrv.mobi/rv-repair-shop-el-cajon-california

    May 12, 2021 at 20:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. RV Awning Orange County

    Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Thanks for supplying this info.

    http://www.24hourfitness.com/search/go?p=R&srid=S3-USCDR02&lbc=24hourfitness&w=La20Cienega20Magic20Johnson&url=http3A2F2F

    May 12, 2021 at 20:14 | 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.