Tetris can help prevent PTSD
After traumatic events, there is a six-hour period in which the event is cemented into memory. The risk of developing PTSD increases depending how the event is absorbed.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge did an experiment in 2009 which revealed that playing Tetris, the colorful brick laying game, can reduce flashbacks of traumatic events. The participants were given the game immediately after exposure to trauma, which is unrealistic in a real world setting.
In order to test how effective Tetris could be after the events had been incorporated into memory post-sleep, a study was done involving 56 participants. Each was asked to watch stress-inducing videos, and to return a day later, after sleep, to play Tetris for 12 minutes. A control group sat quietly during this time.
Those who played the game a day after watching traumatic videos had 51% fewer flashbacks the following week.
Dr. Holmes, one of the researchers conducting the study, believes Tetris creates a "cognitive blockade," which depletes the visual elements of the trauma while it is still malleable in the mind.
Cover image: Wikimedia Commons