A new study shows that playing action video games can improve learning capabilities by sharpening the brain’s ability to predict and respond to events.
via Kurzweil AI:
In the current study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Bavelier and her team first used a pattern discrimination task to compare action video game players’ visual performance with that of individuals who do not play action video games.
The action-gamers outperformed the non-action gamers. The key to the action-gamers success, the researchers found, was that their brains used a better template for the task at hand.
So the question was: were habitual players of fast-paced, action-rich video games already endowed with better templates independently of their game play, or did the action game play itself lead them to have better templates.
To answer that, the researchers recruited individuals with little video game experience, and as part of the experiment, asked them to play video games for 50 hours over the course of nine weeks. One group played action video games, e.g., Call of Duty. The second group played 50 hours of non-action video games, such as The Sims.
The trainees were tested on a pattern discrimination task before and after the video game “training.” The test showed that the action video games players improved their templates, compared to the control group who played the non-action video games.