Playing shooter video games improves your visual attention skills

A team led by psychology professor Ian Spence at the University of Toronto reveals that playing an action videogame, even for a relatively short time, causes differences in brain activity and improvements in visual attention.

This study included only subjects who did not previously play video games. One group of players were given an FPS to play for 10 hours; the control group, a puzzle game. Only the group that played the FPS showed the differences in brain activity:

Before and after playing the games, the subjects’ brain waves were recorded while they tried to detect a target object among other distractions over a wide visual field. Subjects who played the shooter videogame and also showed the greatest improvement on the visual attention task showed significant changes in their brain waves. The remaining subjects — including those who had played the puzzle game — did not.

Source: Press release via Kotaku.

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