Action Video Games can Improve Vision

Mar 30, 2009

Video games are good for your eyes! No, this is not our view but the findings of a research conducted by the scientists at the University of Rochester. The researchers found that players of action-oriented video games may become 58 percent better at perceiving fine differences in contrast. It means playing action-packed video games may improve your vision.

Call of Duty 2

Call of Duty 2

In the new study, Daphne Bavelier, professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester and her team tested the contrast sensitivity function of 22 students, then divided them into two groups: One group played the action video games “Unreal Tournament 2004” and “Call of Duty 2.” The other played “The Sims 2,” which is richly visual, but does not require as much visual-motor coordination.

The volunteers played 50 hours of their assigned games over the course of 9 weeks. At the end of the study the students who played the action games showed an average 43% improvement in their ability to discern close shades of gray. On the other hand, the Sims players showed no improvements.

“When people play action games, they’re changing the brain’s pathway responsible for visual processing. These games push the human visual system to the limits and the brain adapts to it, and we’ve seen the positive effect remains even two years after the training was over,” Bavelier said. The findings of the study was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience on March 29, 2009.

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