Gotta recognise ’em all?

Pokemon combined with state-of-the-art brain imaging could be a new tool for understanding how we recognise faces! Scientists at Indiana University  found that when shown pokemon characters, kids who played a lot of pokemon showed brain patterns on a fMRI scanner that were similar to when they were shown faces. On the other hand, kids who hadn’t played much pokemon didn’t show this pattern.This suggests that we don’t have a system for recognising faces that is totally separate from one for recognising objects, which is what many people have suggested.  It’s important to remember that this study only looked at 23 “expert” pokemon players and 10 novices, so I don’t know how much we can take away from this… Still, it’s definitely a cool way of approaching a problem in a new way! And pokemon’s contribution to science has given me more of a reason to wear a pokebra….


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