Video action games do improve vision: Study

March 30th, 2009 - 5:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 30 (IANS) Video games involving high levels of action, as in shooting games, increase a player’s real-world vision, according to latest research.
The ability to discern subtle differences in shades of gray has long been thought to be an attribute of the human visual system that cannot be improved.

But Daphne Bavelier, professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester, has discovered that very practiced action gamers become 58 percent better at perceiving fine differences in contrast.

“We’ve found that action video games train the brain to process the existing visual information more efficiently, and the improvements last for months after game play stopped.”

The finding has shown that action video games decreases visual crowding and increases visual attention. Contrast sensitivity, she says, is the primary limiting factor in how well a person can see.

Bavelier said the findings show that action video game training may be a useful complement to eye-correction techniques, since game training may teach the visual cortex to make better use of the information it receives, said a Rochester release.

These findings were published in the Monday issue of Nature Neuroscience.

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