NIMH: Virtual-Reality Video Game Helps Link Depression to Specific Brain Area
Scientists are using a virtual-reality, three-dimensional video game that challenges spatial memory as a new tool for assessing the link between depression and the hippocampus, the brain’s memory hub. Spatial memory is the memory of how things are oriented in space and how to get to them.
Earlier studies showed that people with mood disorders tend to have smaller hippocampi than nondepressed people. Other studies showed that depressed people have memory problems. This study strengthened the evidence of a link between the hippocampus and depression by showing that people with hippocampus dysfunction — as revealed by spatial memory problems detected by the new video game — are more likely to be depressed