Playing the computer game Tetris may help reduce the frequency of traumatic flashbacks like the ones that plague sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder, Pacific Standard reports. In the study, participants viewed a 12-minute film of disturbing sequences and had their memories of the film “reactivated” the next day when they looked at stills that showed people in danger, injured, or dying. Those that played Tetris—a highly visuospatial game that may use the same memory resources that scenic, sensory, and traumatic memories use—soon after reported significantly fewer flashbacks to the disturbing images over the next week, the researchers report in Psychological Science. Although the gulf between viewing such images and experiencing true trauma is great, the research at least opens the possibility that the easy-to-access game could provide some type of relief, the scientists say.
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