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Video Game Vision

April 21, 2009

Playing video games can give you better eyesight.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Better vision through video games…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Not many people would say that playing a shoot-em-up video game is good for your eyes. But a new study suggests otherwise. Daphne Bavelier is a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Rochester. She and her colleagues trained healthy volunteers to play action video games for about two months and compared them to volunteers who played a more sedate computer game for the same amount of time.

DAPHNE BAVELIER (University of Rochester):
The action-trained group improved in contrast sensitivity by about 43 percent and the control-trained group didn’t change.

HIRSHON:
Bavelier says games that require you to aim and keep track of a changing environment give your visual system a workout. She says playing video games might be a way to treat poor contrast sensitivity in people with amblyopia, also known as lazy eye. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the science society.