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Psychol Sci. 2007 Jan;18(1):88-94.

Action-video-game experience alters the spatial resolution of vision.

Author information

1
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester, NY 14627-0268, USA. csgreen@bcs.rochester.edu

Abstract

Playing action video games enhances several different aspects of visual processing; however, the mechanisms underlying this improvement remain unclear. Here we show that playing action video games can alter fundamental characteristics of the visual system, such as the spatial resolution of visual processing across the visual field. To determine the spatial resolution of visual processing, we measured the smallest distance a distractor could be from a target without compromising target identification. This approach exploits the fact that visual processing is hindered as distractors are brought close to the target, a phenomenon known as crowding. Compared with nonplayers, action-video-game players could tolerate smaller target-distractor distances. Thus, the spatial resolution of visual processing is enhanced in this population. Critically, similar effects were observed in non-video-game players who were trained on an action video game; this result verifies a causative relationship between video-game play and augmented spatial resolution.

PMID:
17362383
PMCID:
PMC2896830
DOI:
10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01853.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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