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May 29, 2003

Gaming makes you smarter?

This research press release from the University of Rochester is very interesting. Titled "Action-Based Video Games Enhance Visual Attention," here is the introduction:

Research in the upcoming issue of Nature demonstrates that action video games can give a person the ability to monitor more objects in their visual field and do so faster than a person who doesn't play such games. The study by researchers at the University of Rochester suggests that in addition to making game players more aware of their surroundings while performing tasks such as driving, action game playing might be a useful tool to rehabilitate visually impaired patients or to train soldiers for combat.

"Players can process visual information more quickly and can track 30 percent more objects than nonplayers," says Daphne Bavelier, associate professor of brain and cognitive sciences, and member of the Center for Visual Science "Several game players even achieved perfect scores on tests barely doable for non-game players."

Some have suggested that this sort of sensory enrichment might account for some of the Flynn Efffect. Slashdot of course posts these sort of stories all the time....

Posted by razib at 09:56 AM

I read something awhile back that results in intelligence tests have been generally flat over the decades, except that there's been a significant improvement in "spatial reasoning" or whatever they call it -- I presume that that's the part when you see two-dimensional sketches of geometrical shapes in various poses and you have to tell which are the same and different, etc.

Until someone shows me different, I'll believe that video games is the reason. So skipping homework and playing Donkey Kong really helps you. (Yeah, out of date).

Posted by: zizka at May 29, 2003 10:23 AM