Never again let your parents tell you nothing good happens from playing video games.

As a franchise that is now over 20-years-old, Pokémon has expanded way past its origins as a video game. From official Pokémon manhole covers to Pokémon-themed marriage registration forms, fans of the series are able to enjoy Pokémon in all aspects of their lives.

However, for some Pokémon masters, their love for the game leaps over the boundaries of daily life—in the case of one neuroscientist, Pokémon played an active part in propelling their research.

▼ No Pokémon were harmed in the experiment and the making of this video.

Jesse Gomez, now currently an assistant professor at Princeton University, conducted a series of studies comparing the brains of individuals who grew up playing Pokémon versus those who had no experience playing the game.

With a group of volunteers and a couple of MRI scans, the researcher found that those who had played the beloved series growing up had distinctive brain activity in their visual cortex when shown images of Pokémon. On the other hand, those who never experienced the game had little to no brain activity in their visual cortex, giving no particular response to visual Pokémon-related stimuli.

What makes this research important is that it’s evidence of how the human brain dedicates specific areas of itself for particular pieces of visual information—a more common example of this phenomenon is facial recognition. With these new findings, the young scientist hopes to push his work towards research aimed at building resources for children with developmental disabilities as well as those who suffer from conditions such as dyslexia.

An abridged, translated version of Jesse’s findings have also circulated on the Japanese net, and needless to say Japanese netizens were mildly amused. Here are a few choice reactions we’ve picked out:

“If it’s Pokémon Go, it’d be impossible to remember every single Pokémon.”

“Huh, maybe I should go buy Digimon and test this out myself.”

“I wonder if this also applies to idol fans.”

Some gamers continue gaming well into adulthood, keeping up with the new consoles and games pumped out every year, whereas some gamers stop altogether due to reasons related to time, finances, and loss of interest. But regardless of where we turn out, just like Jesse, the games we encountered and grew up with can encourage and inspire us well beyond the screen.

Source: YouTube/Science Friday via Otakomu
Insert image: Pakutaso

● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!