Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Improve vision' by video games.....
Researchers found playing the games improved the ability to notice even very small changes in shades of grey against a uniform background.
"Contrast sensitivity" is important in situations such as driving at night, or in conditions of poor visibility.
The Nature Neuroscience study raises the possibility of using a video game training regime to improve vision.
Contrast sensitivity is often one of the first aspects of vision to be affected by ageing.
It can also be affected by conditions such as amblyopia, known as "lazy eye".
Improving contrast sensitivity usually requires physical changes in eye optics, through eye surgery, glasses or contact lenses.
A team from the University of Rochester studied expert video game players playing games involving aiming and shooting at virtual targets.
They found that they had better contrast sensitivity when compared with players who played non-action video games.
These results were not because people with better contrast sensitivity were more likely to be action video game players - giving non-video game players intensive daily practice in video game playing improved this group's performance on tests of contrast sensitivity.
Crucially, the improvements in this study were sustained for months or even years in some cases, suggesting that time spent in front of a computer screen is not necessarily harmful for vision, as has sometimes been suggested.
Lead researcher Dr Daphne Bavelier said it was likely that several aspects of playing video games combined to produce the beneficial effect.