An investigation into how the brain organizes visual information states that adults who played Pokémon during their childhood have a brain region with more response to images with cartoon characters than others without them.
The study published in the journal Nature Human Behavior explains that the researchers used 11 adults who were veteran Pokémon players, and another 11 non-players as subjects for the experiment. After comparing different images of participants’ brain activity while showing them images of the original 150 pokémon along with other unrelated images, they found that the reactions were different between the two groups. In experienced players, one specific region responded more to the Pokémon images than to the other images, while the other group did not show a preference for the characters in the game.
While it is already known that the brain has groups of cells that respond to certain images already known, the real mystery is how the brain learns to recognize different images. Regardless of the results of the report, the greatest curiosity about Pokémon is that the researcher Jesse Gomez realized that the success of the Game Boy games during the 1990s had unexpectedly created a huge group of subjects who had received a similar visual education, perfect for this type of studies. Something that is very practical for research of this kind since repeating a process of visual education similar to children in laboratory conditions would be as difficult as unethical.
Not surprisingly, Pokémon, which currently celebrates its 30th years of history, has been so influential in so many players. Given that a recent study places the age of entry into videogames at 9 years, we are talking about groups of very large individuals who for many years are receiving similar stimuli continuously for several decades.