Study: Action Games Improve Eye Sight Drastically

In a new study, researchers at the University of Rochester and Tel Aviv University found out that action games actually help improve players' eye sight.

The study, published in the latest issue of Nature, found that action games may improve gamers' contrast perception by as much as 58 percent.

"Video game training...may become a useful complement to eye-correction techniques that are routinely used in the clinic to improve eyesight," Daphne Bavelier, professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester and the research report's lead author said.

The key word here is "action". Non-action video games such as The Sims 2 offer no eye sight improvement at all. Bavelier and his research team divided their research volunteers into two groups; one group played Unreal Tournament 2004, while the other played The Sims 2.

After 50 hours of playing, only the first group showed a 43 percent improvement in their ability to distinguish between shades of gray. The second group didn't show any improvement.

"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that contrast sensitivity can be improved by simple training," Bavelier told the University of Rochester news service. "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."

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