Playing action video games can train the mind to make the right decisions faster. Video game players can develop a heightened sensitivity to what is going on around them, such as everyday activities like driving, reading small print, or navigating around town.

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How do we transform an ever-changing jumble of visual stimuli into the rich and coherent three-dimensional perception we know as sight? Rochester vision scientists are helping reshape our understanding of how the brain ‘sees.’

By the time James Risen arrived at the Napa Valley hotel his wife had booked in celebration of his 60th birthday, he knew something was terribly wrong. Without warning or pain, the right side of his field of vision had gone blank, like someone had pulled a curtain over the area.

“I could only see about half of my normal vision,” he recalls. “It was like not getting the whole picture.”

As he would soon learn from emergency room doctors, “The problem was not with my eyes. There w… Continue Reading (12 minute read)

15 thoughts on “Playing action video games can train the mind to make the right decisions faster. Video game players can develop a heightened sensitivity to what is going on around them, such as everyday activities like driving, reading small print, or navigating around town.”

  1. elitecloser

    Also, now I can’t drive by radio towers without scanning the middle and top for snipers

  2. omgitsaghost

    Back in highschool in my biology class we did tests for our reaction speed and hand/eye coordination. I smoked everyone in it. Teacher asked me if I knew how I got such great results. Before I could answer, a friend yelled out “cuz all he does is play videogames”. She paused and said “yeah, that’d probably do it.”

  3. abandonliberty

    A serious fps gamer was a subject for a research study. They flashed images in succession; the brain was supposed to be too busy processing the first one to see the second.

    I got 90%+ right. Whoops.

  4. turnturnburn

    Anytime I see this stated, all I can think about is the period in my life when I played Skyrim non-stop for a few months.

    I was walking somewhere and saw some small metal tool on the ground and picked it up and stuck it in my pocket.

    While that in and of itself was a non-event, the fact that I had a serious internal debate about how to open up my inventory screen to see it, still sticks with me to this day

  5. Brandonh75

    I don’t get to play games like when I was younger and I have noticed that my reaction time seemed to slow. But it’s building back up because of my now three year old.

    I used to play a lot of Need For Speed (various versions), and I like to think that has helped me be a more attentive driver. Though, there have been two instances in the past where someone cut me off and my first almost-reaction was to hit the gas and slam into them. Luckily I caught myself both times.

  6. MrMacGuffyn

    Too bad all the in game exercise I do doesn’t automatically translate to reality

  7. Maximillion666ian

    I’ve been gaming for decades now and noticed my subconscious reaction time has become faster. Like the other day I was coming out of my shower and by towel fell off the hook and I caught it in mid air without thinking. Or something will fall off my desk and ill catch it in mid air out of the corner of my eye. This has happened so many times its beyond chance . Funny thing is normally I’m a bit clumsy .

  8. OlScratchJohnson

    So I’ve secretly been training my ninja senses all these years? And it’s not all in my head? Awesome.

  9. Amariel777

    Beat saber training. The crickets that keep invading my bathroom don’t stand a chance.

  10. pyrowolf8

    My dreams are usually about walking around whatever weird location my brain conjures up and exploring. I wonder if video games contribute.

  11. quilsmehaissent

    Living in a creepy neighbourhood does all that too, none of the long hours of training needed

  12. JP_HACK

    Need for speed underground 2.

    Taught my dumbass how to read a map and navigate to a point with out turn by turn directions nor fast travel.

    Now i attribute that game to my insane sense of direction.

  13. FearMe_Twiizted

    I think it’s more of putting us in that situation in a controlled environment. Now on GTA, when a pedestrian walks out in front of me, I have time to decided whether or not they should die.

  14. caelum007

    Driving kit simulators, Joysticks for flight simulators, and VR controllers would translate well in real life. If I am not mistaken US navy ships are being equipped with xbox controllers because the younger sailors are more familiar with them.

  15. Mekreth

    Years of FPS games experience has taught me to spot people/items in a busy environment rather quickly

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