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The research results of scientists of the University of Rochester on the impact of video games on vision

12 Aug 2010

In 2007, researchers at the University of Rochester Bevelir Daphne (Daphne Bavelier) and Sean Green (Shawn Green) pleased fans of video games. Contrary to the traditional view about the dangers of toys, they found that people devote several hours a day game, a month were seen in 20% better.

After only 30 hours of players was observed a significant increase of permit. This means that they can see the figures shown in the table to test vision more clearly, even in dense arrangement of characters - specifies Professor Daphne Bevelir.

To participate in the experiment Bevelir and Green was invited university students who had played computer games in the course of the last year.

- It was quite difficult - confessed Green - virtually every campus plays video games.

Before the experiment, the students passed the test in which they had to determine the orientation of the letter "T" in the image, which were in addition to her other characters. The results of the data made the initial conditions of the experiment.

Then the students were pided into two groups. The first group was given the task of playing a computer game shooter (shooter) Unreal Tournament approximately 1:00 daily. Second - the control group - was similar to the amount of time playing "Tetris" - the game is not less complex in terms of motor control, but it is not burdened graphics.

A month later the students were re-test. The group played "Tetris" was not any progress, but the Unreal Tournament players began to determine the orientation of the letter "T" much more quickly than a month ago.

It was found that the improvement observed not only central but peripheral vision, which "sees beyond the monitor," and therefore not exposed to direct training.

This enables researchers to conclude that people with certain types of abuse (eg, amblyopia) may be useful to use special rehabilitation programs in which, as in the game, it was necessary to quickly navigate the moving objects.

Another discovery, no less joyful for fans of video games was made in the same University of Rochester in 2009. It turned out that video games-shooters with a high level of activity, can improve the ability to distinguish shades of color (including gray) that affect the visual attention and ability to recognize faces in the crowd.

Previously it was thought that the ability to distinguish between shades of gray, is a property of the human visual system and can not be improved naturally, but only in the use of glasses or surgery. But Professor Daphne Bevelir showed that active video games are for contrast sensitivity: the players were 58% better perceive shades of gray.

- We found that active video games train the brain to process visual information obtained faster and the effect persist even after months after the game - said Bevelir.

What would study the effect of active video games in contrast sensitivity, Bevelir along with two colleagues from the University of Rochester and Professor Uri Polat (Uri Polat) from the Institute for Eye of the University of Tel Aviv, selected students in the amount of twenty-two people, which later pided into two groups.

The first group played Unreal Tournament 2004 and Call of Duty 2, and the second in The Sims 2, which is visually very perse, but not as active as the first two games. The volunteers played 50 hours for these games in the course of nine weeks. At the end of the experiment, the students were playing active games, average ability to distinguish similar shades of gray has increased by 43% (total capacity to capture the contrasts increased membership of this group 58%), while in the second group, no such changes recorded was not.

- To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that contrast sensitivity can be improved simply learning - says Bevelir. - When people play video games like first person they make their visual system to work to the limit, changing the brain processes visual information processing. Adapting to this brain work? has a positive effect which we can observe even two years after the workout.

Bevelir notes that the findings indicate that despite the well-known concerns about the effects that give video games, and time spent in front of a computer monitor may shooters are not so bad, at least for vision.

The professor intends to use the results in the future to treat amblyopia - a disease of the visual system is not available correction with glasses or contact lenses in which weakened transmission of visual information from the eye to the brain healthy.

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