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Video Gamers May Have Better Visual Recall

Video Gamers May Have Better Visual Recall

06/14/13

FRIDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- In a new finding sure to be shared with some skeptical parents, it seems that the brains of video game enthusiasts make better and faster use of visual input.

"Gamers see the world differently," study author Greg Appelbaum, an assistant professor of psychiatry in the Duke University School of Medicine, said in a Duke news release. "They are able to extract more information from a visual scene."

The study included 125 college students who were either intensive video game players or nongamers. The participants took a visual memory test that flashed a circle of eight letters for one-tenth of a second. After a delay of between 13 milliseconds and 2.5 seconds, an arrow appeared and pointed to one spot where a specific letter had been. The participants had to try to recall the letter.

The gamers consistently outperformed the nongamers in recalling the letter, according to the study in the June issue of the journal Attention, Perception and Psychophysics.

The researchers said two possible reasons exist for the gamers' better recall: They may see more immediately, and they may be better at making correct decisions from available information.

Further investigation is needed to determine if gamers' brains have become trained to perform differently on visual tasks, compared to nongamers, the study authors said.

More information

The American Psychological Association has more about the potential brain benefits of video games.

Health NewsCopyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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