A new study from the National Institutes of Health has shown there is some benefit to the developing brain when it comes to playing video games.

In findings released Monday in the JAMA Network Open Journal, researchers found that gaming can help not only with impulsivity, but also memory recall and overall enhanced cognitive performance when compared to children who did not play video games. The results came from a case-control study of 2,217 children who ranged in age from 9-10, pulled from the larger pool of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study.

The study showed that children who played video games for an average of three hours a day showed an increase in blood oxygen levels and, as a result, increased cognitive function, though researchers were also quick to clarify that there was no direct relationship between gaming and increased brain function. The study called for further research on the matter since the neurobiological functions studied are not yet fully understood.

The lead author of the study, assistant professor Bader Chaarani of the University of Vermont, explained that gamers "have more brain activations in regions linked with attention and working memory." This was found through studying impulse control and short-term memory of children who gamed versus those who didn't.

Previous studies indicated that video games could be tied to increased aggression and depression in children, but those results weren't duplicated in this study.

Some of the children in the study who played video games for three hours or more a day did report having behavioral and mental health issues, but researchers did not find it was directly linked to the games. Because a direct link could not be established, the study couldn't rule out if it was coincidental or because of the association with the games.

The study also explained that it could be coincidental that some children showed increased cognitive function after playing games.

One facet not included in the study was the genre of video games played, which led researchers to hypothesize that different genres of games would lead to different effects on the brain.

"While we cannot say whether playing video games regularly caused superior neurocognitive performance, it is an encouraging finding, and one that we must continue to investigate in these children as they transition into adolescence and young adulthood," Chaarani said of the study.