Video Games May Help Your Vision?

Snellen-Eye-Chart, Copyright 2009 The Eye Doc BlogA new study found that first person action games improved the vision of adult video game players.   Two groups of patients were tested.  The first group of patients played Call of Duty and experienced a significant increase in their ability to distinguish different shades of gray (contrast sensitivity function).  The second group used The Sims, which was similar in it’s graphic detail however it is a non action game that does not require precise visual activities such as aiming.

Contrast sensitivity function is a measure of visual acuity (the chart on the wall that uses progressively smaller numbers is another, more common method, shown to the right) uses different shades of gray to evaluate a person’s vision rather than how small of a letter a person can read (the latter is called Snellen visual acuity.  Contrast sensitivity is a much more precise way of evaluating a person’s visual acuity and is more often used in clinical research.

The exciting part of this study is that it has been previously thought that it was difficult to improve the vision in adults.   This study paves the way for possible new treatments of amblyopia in children and the hope of retraining patients that may have lost vision due to some retinal conditions.  The study showed that not all games are created equal in producing this affect and advised caution in recommending games to recommend to patients.  The entire study was published online by the journal Nature Neuroscience.

2 responses to “Video Games May Help Your Vision?

  1. This is really very informative. But still, there are a lot of ways as to how we could actually take care of our vision. Studies regarding this could help but we are all responsible to once in a while visit our doctors and clinics.

  2. According to a pair of researchers at the University of Rochester in New York, action video games train the brain to better process certain visual information.

    Action video gamers tend to be more attune to their surroundings while performing tasks like driving down a residential street, where they may be more likely to pick out a child running after a ball than a non-video gamer.

    The research also suggests that action game playing might be a useful tool to rehabilitate visually impaired patients or to train soldiers for combat.