A recent published study done by researchers at the Duke School of Medicine reports gamers "see the world differently" than non-gamers. We're not talking about vision of the 20/20 variety, but the ability of the eyes and brain to track visual movement, which researchers discovered is much more acute amongst those who called themselves "very intensive gamers."As quoted from the researchers' abstract in the May 2013 issue of Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics:
The present study measured the capacity and time course of visual sensory memory using a partial report performance task as a means to distinguish between these three possible mechanisms. Sensitivity measures and parameter estimates that describe sensory memory capacity and the rate of memory decay were compared between individuals who reported high evels and low levels of action video game experience. Our results revealed a uniform increase in partial report accuracy at all stimulus-to-cue delays for action video game players but no difference in the rate or time course of the memory decay. The present findings suggest that action video game playing may be related to enhancements in the initial sensitivity to visual stimuli, but not to a greater retention of information in iconic memory buffers.
How appropriate, considering this is the week of E3 and some of us may find the findings justification to play a favorite quick twitch game regularly. Additional information about the study over at Duke University's, Video Gamers Really Do See More.
Want to test your reaction times online in similar fashion? Check out the Online Reaction Time Test, devised by Thomas James Allen over at Washington.edu's site for some quick twitch testing (a similar "click when green" test is available at the Human Benchmark site if you're really feeling twitchy):
You'll likely get progressively better with each mouse click, as I did above. I'd like to retry this test after a cup of morning coffee.
(Images: Gregory Han; Thomas James Allen)