Teens, tell your parents: Gaming can boost your brainpower! Especially action games, like “Call of Duty: Black Ops” and “Sonic The Hedgehog.” That’s according to more than 20 studies on gaming and cognitive abilities.

For example, a study in the International Journal of Communication tracked the daily habits of 12-thousand 15-year-olds and looked at their test scores in school. And time and time again, the teens who reported being “regular gamers” scored significantly higher on tests than those who DIDN’T regularly play video games. How much higher? Well, on science tests, gamers generally scored 17 points ABOVE average… and on math and reading tests, gamers scored 15 points higher than non-gamers!

In most schools, that’s the difference between a “B-minus” and an “A.” The reason? Researchers say a lot of video games involve solving puzzles to advance to the next level – whether that means figuring out how to get around certain obstacles or beat a bunch of attacking aliens! And regular puzzle solvers develop stronger cognitive skills.

Plus, researchers at the University of Toronto found navigating virtual worlds in video games improves a skill called “spatial cognition,” which is essential for math and engineering. And after just 10 hours of playing virtual-world video games, researchers found that people significantly improved their spatial cognition.

Bottom line: Gaming can improve brainpower!