New research suggests playing video games make you smarter
The new study shows that people can become better learners by playing fast-paced action games.
A new study has suggested that people who play action games like “Unreal Tournament 2004” and “Call of Duty” show greater potential to learn than those who play non-action games.
A brain and cognitive research professor at the University of Rochester, Daphne Bavelier, said, “Previous research by our group revealed that action gamers transcend many tasks. In this new study, we show that they become better learners by playing fast-paced action games.”
Bavelier added that our brains keep predicting what will come next – whether when listening to a conversation, driving, or even performing surgery. She said, “To sharpen its prediction skills, our brains uniformly build models, or ‘templates,’ of the world. “The better the template, the better the performance.”
Action Games vs Non Action Games
During the research, Bavelier and her team of researchers first examined the visual performance of 10 gamers who played “Call of Duty” with 10 people who played non-action games like “The Sims 2” and “Restaurant Empire” a life simulation video game. The researchers assessed this by measuring the players’ ability to distinguish one set of black and white lines from another presented in a rapid manner.
After playing the games for nearly 50 hours over nine weeks, researchers noticed that the action gamers outperformed the non-action gamers.
Then, researchers turned to neural modeling to explain why the action gamers performed so much better. The researchers found the key to the action gamers’ success was that their brains could better estimate what various patterns of lines would look like before they appeared onscreen.
When participants began the perceptual learning task, action video gamers developed better templates for the task, much faster, exhibiting an accelerated learning curve.
The research team is now investigating which characteristics in action video games are important in boosting players’ learning.
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