Feeds

Action gamers make better drivers, soldiers, surgeons

Presumably not while actually playing, though

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Stateside brain experts say that their latest research indicates that playing action video games makes people more able to make correct decisions quickly under time pressure - potentially turning them into superior drivers, soldiers or surgeons.

"It's not the case that the action game players are trigger-happy and less accurate: They are just as accurate and also faster," says cognitive researcher Daphne Bavelier. "Action game players make more correct decisions per unit time. If you are a surgeon or you are in the middle of a battlefield, that can make all the difference."

Bavelier and her colleagues have proved this by carrying out a study in which a group of people who had not played video games previously were set to play either action offerings Call of Duty 2 and Unreal Tournament or slo-mo strategy yawnfest The Sims 2.

Afterwards, the study participants were asked to perform tasks against the clock in which they had to look or listen, decide what was happening and answer a simple question - for instance, is an erratically-moving group of dots migrating left or right. The action-games group were able to give answers significantly faster than the strategists, with no loss of accuracy.

According to Bavelier and her colleagues, the process of playing fast-moving action games trains the brain's natural processes of "probabilistic inference", the means whereby it can build a decision by rapidly and constantly collecting pieces of information.

"The brain is always computing probabilities," explains Bavelier. "As you drive, for instance, you may see a movement on your right, estimate whether you are on a collision course, and based on that probability make a binary decision: brake or don't brake."

The researchers' new study, Improved Probabilistic Inference as a General Learning Mechanism with Action Video Games, can be read here by subscribers to the journal Current Biology. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.