Thursday, April 2, 2009

Study: Some video games can improve vision

Study: Some video games can improve vision

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (UPI) -- Video games that involve high levels of action -- such as first-person-shooter games -- increase a player's real-world vision, a U.S. researcher found.

Daphne Bavelier of the University of Rochester said the ability to discern slight differences in shades of gray has long been thought to be an attribute of the human visual system that cannot be improved. However, Bavelier found the very practiced action gamers become 58 percent better at perceiving fine differences in contrast.

"Normally, improving contrast sensitivity means getting glasses or eye surgery -- somehow changing the optics of the eye," Bavelier said in a statement. "But 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."

Bavelier said the findings show 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 information it receives.

The finding is published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.


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