What is your reaction to someone who plays action-video games? Do you think they are wasting their time??You might be wrong.
According to a study, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, playing action video-games can make people a better learner as they are better able to multitask, focus and retain information as compared to the non-action video gamers.
So how is it possible???
Bavelier, a research professor in brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester, said in a press release ,”our brains keep predicting what will come next—whether when listening to a conversation, driving, or even preforming surgery. In order to sharpen its prediction skills, our brains constantly build models, or ‘templates,’ of the world. The better the template, the better the performance. And now we know playing action video game actually fosters better templates.”
Bavelier’s research team chose group of college students, with little video-game experience, and paid $8 an hour to play video games for 50 hours over a nine-week span. They were divided in two groups and played two contrasting types of games: ones with lots of action “Call of Duty 2”, and ones with minimal action “The Sims 2”.
In this study, Bavelier and her team used a pattern discrimination task to compare action video game players’ visual performance with the control group who played non-action video games. In the test, the action video gamers outperformed the non-action video gamers. The researchers credited the ability of the brain of action gamers to built a better template for the task at hand for their success. Neural modeling was used to investigate how action games may foster better templates.
When a perpetual learning task was given, the action gamers were able to build and fine tune templates quicker than non-action gamers. Ability to develop right template quickly to the task and stimulus at hand makes a person better at learning. According to researchers, the action gamers are not only able to build better templates they are much more faster than the non-action gamers. In addition to this, the effect is long lasting. The action game participants could build better template and outperformed the control group several months to a year after the training.
For more information about research on video games. Check out this TED talk.