Wissenschaftler haben das Hirn von Pokémons gescannt und festgestellt, dass die Viecher in einer erdnussgroßen Region im visuellen Kortex leben. Pokémon und ihre 1000 Variationen haben eine eigene Hirnregion, deren Synapsen jedesmal feuern, wenn Pokémon-Auskenner auf ein Pokémon gucken. Pokémon-Anfänger haben dieses Pokémon-Zentrum im visuellen Kortex nicht ausgebildet, ich gehe aber davon aus, dass quasi alle lebenslangen visuellen „Spezialisierungen“ eigene Hirnareale ausbilden, also auch Briefmarken bei Briefmarkensammlern oder Comic-Cover bei Comic-Sammlern.
Ob Hirnareale von Comic-Sammlern kompatibel mit den Hirnarealen von Pokémon-Zockerinnen sind, bleibt abzuwarten und ob herkömmliche Pokémon-Brains anderthalb Stunden Pikachu-Dance abliefern können, wird sich zeigen.
It’s well known that human beings are remarkably adept at visually recognizing faces, words, numbers, places, colors, and so forth thanks to a constellation of regions—small clusters of neurons about the size of a pea—in the temporal lobe, located just behind the ears. Those regions show up in the same place in most people, despite differences in age, sex, or race. There’s even a so-called “Jennifer Aniston neuron,” (aka the “grandmother cell”) discovered by a UCLA neuroscientist in 2005, whose primary purpose seems to be to recognize images of the famous actress. Similar neurons have also been found for other celebrities like Bill Clinton, Julia Roberts, Halle Berry, and Kobe Bryant.
“This is quite remarkable, and it’s still an open mystery in neuroscience why these regions appear exactly where they do in the brain,” said co-author Jesse Gomez, a postdoc at the University of California, Berkeley, who conducted the experiments while a grad student at Stanford University. One way to answer this question, and determine which of several competing theories is correct, is to study people who, as children, had a unique experience with a new type of visual stimulus. If those people were shown to have developed a new brain region dedicated to recognizing that new object class, that would offer useful insight into how the brain organizes itself.
“The game rewards kids for individuating between hundreds of similar-looking Pokémon.”
The catch: it would take many hours of laboratory practice with any new visual stimulus for there to be any measurable effect. But “I realized that the 1990s had already done it for me,” said Gomez. “I grew up playing Pokémon. The game rewards kids for individuating between hundreds of similar-looking Pokémon.” The game is also played primarily during childhood, a “critical window” period where the brain is especially plastic and responsive to experience. He reasoned it might be possible that passionate Pokémon players like his childhood self would have developed a new brain region in response to that experience.