If you put a lot of hours into games such as Pokémon Red and Blue throughout your childhood, there are high chances that your brain may well have created a small region dedicated to remembering Pikachu and the gang.
Researchers at the Standford University have discovered that adults who have played Pokémon games extensively as children have a region of the brain which respond favorably to images of the series’ characters. The study presented certain images of Pokémon characters to two groups– those who played the games regularly and those who have no knowledge of the series. The findings proved that the brains of regular players responded more.
Though, what is surprising is that it was the very same area of each participant’s brain which got activated during the test. The activity was noticed in a brain fold located just behind the ears, which is called the occipitotemporal sulcus. This area is believed to respond to images of animals (this is perhaps the closest thing to Pokémon characters). In the same way, we store faces and words, the brain also finds a dedicated special spot for remembering Mewtwo, Charmander and all of your favorite pocket monsters.
The study supports the popular belief that exposure at a young age helps the brain to develop dedicated regions. It also highlights the differences between our central and peripheral vision. The size of a Game Boy screen ensures that the Pokémon characters only take up a very small part of the player’s view, meaning that the preferential brain activations can be found in the part of the visual cortex which deals with the central vision specifically.
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