Study: Video games can improve eyesight

Posted by Samantha Rose Hunt

Rochester (CT) - A recent study conducted by the University of Rochester and published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, concludes that playing shooter-type video games is a great tool for improving one's eyesight. That means all of that violence, guts and gore could quite possibly be contributing to healthier eyes.





This is not the first time that the University of Rochester has discovered action based video games can help eyesight. In 2007, subjects in a a study reported improvement in general eyesight by twenty percent after playing action packed video games.



The study concludes that playing video games packed with action improved the contrast sensitivity function (CSF) in individuals who were tested. One of the most common and easily damaged functions of the human eye is contrast sensitivity. Individuals who suffer from low contrast sensitivity have a harder time seeing at night, can't always pick up on facial expressions, and also have trouble seeing stains and spots on clothing.



The study was conducted by having one group of subjects playing Atari's Unreal Tournament 2004 or Call of Duty 2; another group played The Sims 2. Over nine weeks each group played games for 50 hours. When the study ended, participants in the group playing action games saw a significant improvement in their CSF compared to individuals who played The Sims. The study also later discovered that those who noticed improved CSF during the testing kept the improvement for months and sometimes even years.



Previously there were no known methods which could aid in the improvement of CSF for those who had suffered a decrease. Now, however, improvements might be possible.



Video games have been credited with both positives and negatives. Some studies say that video games improve overall mental health, and the biology of players, however other studies have claimed that cognitive abilities of children are diminished from excessive playing and that video games have been linked to causing drug abuse, overall poor health and obesity.



See the Nature.com.