By Casey Lynn
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
We learned six years ago that computer games can drastically improve visual skills; compared with non-gamers, test subjects who played games like Grand Theft Auto routinely performed much better on a battery of visual tests. Though interestingly, the effect only comes from games that require you to shift focus, like Medal of Honor, but not those that require focus on one object at a time, like Tetris.
A new study by the same group of researchers shows that first-person shooters lead to improved contrast sensitivity. Subjects who played games that involve “aiming and shooting at virtual targets” performed better on tests that involve detecting small changes in shades of gray against a uniform background, as opposed to those that played other types of videogames. This could be a useful skill, since contrast sensitivity is important for things like driving at night.
The researchers think that games may become a common clinical tool for helping those with poor eyesight, particularly amblyopia (better known as “lazy eye”).
The study was published in Nature Neuroscience: Enhancing the Contrast Sensitivity Function Through Action Video Game Training.
[Image Source: Flickr]