Scientists may have found a new way to stop cravings for cigarettes and maybe for even food and other things desirable. Psychologists at Plymouth University say that playing the game Tetris works by occupying the same mental processes used to imagine indulging in the craving. They experimented on students at their school, and students at Queensland University of Technology, in Australia. The project mainly focused on 31 undergraduates, between the ages of 18 and 27.
Professor Jackie Andrade, of Plymouth University, said: “We think the Tetris effect happens because craving involves imagining the experience of consuming a particular substance. Playing a visually interesting game like Tetris occupies the mental processes that support that imagery. It is hard to imagine something vividly and play Tetris at the same time.”
Students were asked about their urges to smoke, and then half of them went to go play Tetris on an iPad for 15 minutes. When the students came back from playing the game, their urge to smoke decreased by 5 percent. This new finding can hopefully work in other fields of addiction, and help prevent them.