Feeds

Shoot-em-ups make you think faster

Amazing facts of our time (No. 92)

High performance access to file storage

Playing video games trains people to make faster decisions and gives them a heightened sense of their surroundings - just like vampires. But not any old computer games - no, you need games like Call of Duty 2 and the Unreal Tournament to augment your ears and eyes.

These are some of the findings of three American cognitive scientists of The University of Rochester, Daphne Bavelier, Alexandre Pouget, and C. Shawn Green. They tested dozens of 18-25 year olds, who, crucially, do not ordinarily play games. One group played 50 hours of fast paced action games - and the other groups played 50 hours of the funereally-paced The Sims 2.

The lab rats were then subjected to visual and auditory tests, such as if dots were moving left or right across the screen. The shoot-em-up group were 25 per cent faster in making decisions and are just as accurate as the slow coaches. So could this mean that playing The Sims 2 makes you a little bit simple?

"It's not the case that the action game players are trigger-happy and less accurate: They are just as accurate and also faster," Bavelier said. "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."

How come? The Rochester researchers attribute the action gamers' faster decision making to a process called probabilistic inference. The brain continuously accumulates small pieces of visual or auditory information as a person surveys a scene, eventually gathering enough for the person to make what they perceive to be an accurate decision, Bavellier explains

"Decisions are never black and white," she said. "The brain is always computing probabilities. 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."

We would like the Rochester team to conduct another test of action gamers, dividing them into reckless arseholes and not reckless arseholes. That would help us work out if quick eye-ear reaction time, fast decision- making translates into wisdom...

University of Rochester: Video Games Lead to Faster Decisions that are No Less Accurate

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
Dell Wyse Cloud Connect: Pocket Android desktop
Ultrathin client with a lot of baggage. The upside? It's a rogue sysadmin's delight
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.