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Video Game Vision

April 21, 2009

Playing video games can give you better eyesight.


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.

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.