Friday, February 09, 2007

Videogames improve eyesight

Games improve eyesight
I have what used to be called a 'lazy' eye, and had to wear a patch as a child, which didn’t work. Research summarised in Scientific American and published in the journal Psychological Science shows that playing fast-paced video games improves vision generally and improves vision for this condition. Subjects see more of those tiny letters way down the eye chart.

University of Rochester
Daphne Bavelier, of the University of Rochester claims that, "This is showing us a new path forward for rehabilitation. By combining more traditional methods for doing rehabilitation with these games, we should be in a better position to reopen the visual cortex to learning."

The study used comparative groups to see whether games would have any effect on visual improvement and the results after only 30 hours of play were surprising. "What is surprising here," she adds, "is that we see the effect of training extending beyond what the subjects were trained to do, which contradicts the current school of thought. ... 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, everyday life."

If games had been around when I was a boy I may not have had a lifetime of wearing glasses.

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