Friday, 15 March 2013

Improve Eyesight with Computer Games

Gone are the days when eye surgery, glasses or contact lenses were the only ways to improve contrast sensitivity. Playing action video games, involving the killing of opponents have come up as a new remedy for improving the eyesight and the contrast sensitivity as claimed by a new research study. Contrast sensitivity is important in situations like driving at night as it enables a person to notice the subtle changes of light and dark against a uniform background. It is one of the first and the most prominent aspects of vision which is affected by ageing and is generally found in individuals suffering from amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye.

The study published in Nature Neuroscience shows that action video games can improve players’ performance on contrast sensitivity tests as players have to react to unpredictable events occurring in the form of visual signals in the virtual world of the game. The researchers from Rochester University in New York, Goldschleger Eye Research Institute and Tel Aviv University in Israel also believe that their new findings clearly prove that contrast sensitivity function is affected not only by deterioration in the eye itself, but also in the signals coming from brain.

In their study, they drew comparison between the reactions of a group of seasoned gamers with a group of the same age people who did not play computer games often. They also performed an experiment in which small samples of non-gamers were asked to play intensively for 50 hours over nine weeks. The volunteers played either a fighting game, Unreal Tournament 2004, or a Shoot-Em-Up, Call of Duty 2, and the results were compared with another group who played more sedate games for the same time duration. Those playing action games showed improvement between 43 and 58 per cent in discerning contrasts, a rise not visible in the other group. Scientists are very optimistic and feel positive that action video-game training can one day be used as an alternative to eye-correction techniques and treat certain eye disorders such as amblyopia.
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