John Grohol noted this month on his PsychCentral blog some research that suggests that playing Tetris could possibly help prevent PTSD after witness traumatic events.
The study he cites looked concluded that what might be happening is that playing this particular type of game uses the same areas of the brain that would be storing the traumatic images as flashbacks. The window of time that seemed most useful was about 6 hours post-trauma. Ten minutes of Tetris within that time period seemed to significantly lessen flashbacks, and the effect held up for the one week that the people were followed.
The study was very small, and didn’t have much follow-up, so obviously more work needs to be done. But what an interesting idea, and how very easy to implement. Our brains are very interesting indeed.