games improve eyesight, says new study
Video game enthusiasts have good enough reason to rejoice. A
recent study has found that games that contain high levels of
action are indeed beneficial to the visual cortex, the portion
of the brain that controls eyesight.
The study carried out at the University of Rochester showed that
people who played such action games for a couple of hours a day
improved their vision by 20 per cent over a month.
The scientists at the university examined the eyesight of
non-video game playing students at the university and tracked
changes that happened after they started playing either Unreal
Tournament or Tetris, for several hours a day for over a month.
Players who were put on Unreal Tournament were found to fare
better than Tetris players in post-tests and they showed
improvement in their peripheral vision.
Daphne Bavelier, professor of brain and cognitive sciences at
the university, says action video game play changes the way
human brains process visual information. These games push the
human visual system to the limits and the brain adapts to it.
That learning carries over into other activities and possibly
Bavelier says the improvement was seen both in the part of the
visual field where video game players typically play, and also
beyond - the part of your vision beyond the monitor. The
students' vision improved in the center and at the periphery
where they had not been "trained." This would suggest that
people with visual deficits, such as amblyopic patients, may
also be able to gain an increase in their visual acuity with
special rehabilitation software that reproduces an action game's
need to identify objects very quickly.
The study is being published in the journal Psychological