Can playing Tetris block traumatic memories?

A new study seems to suggest that the intrusive memories and flashbacks of PTSD might form less often if traumatized people play Tetris, reports Brigit Katz in Smithsonian Magazine.

The study, led by Oxford University and Karolinska Institute researchers, recently published in Molecular Psychiatry, studied  71 people admitted to an Oxford ER after car crashes. Half of them were asked to recall the accident, and then play Tetris for 20 minutes. The other half were the control group.

Scientists discovered that those who played Tetris within six hours of their accidents experienced 62 percent fewer intrusive memories during the next week than the control group. They called the game a “therapeutic vaccine” that seemed to prevent traumatic memories from being created.

The researchers hope to enlarge the study in the future.

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