Peripheral vision,Visual perception,Video game,Attention,Visual field,Perception

Try it: Video game trains kids to use peripheral vision

December 1, 2016
in Kids

Children with poor vision see vast improvement in their peripheral vision after only eight hours of training using kid-friendly video games. Most surprising, scientists say, is the range of visual gains the children made were quickly acquired and stable when tested a year later. “Children who have profound visual deficits often expend a disproportionate amount of effort trying to see straight ahead, and as a consequence they neglect their peripheral vision,” says Duje Tadin, associate professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester. “When we realized that the students achieved up to 50 percent improvement in visual tasks, we were blown away.” “This is problematic because visual periphery—which plays a critical role in mobility and other key visual functions—is often less affected by visual impairments.” “We know that action video games (AVG) can improve visual perception, so we isolated the AVG components that we thought would have the strongest effect on perception and devised a kid-friendly game that compels players to pay attention to the entire visual field, not just where their vision is most impaired,” says Tadin, who is also a professor in the Center for Visual Science. “As a result, we’ve seen up to 50 percent improvement in visual perception tasks.” Successful AVG players distribute and switch their attention across a wide area, while at the same time they remain vigilant for unexpected moving targets to appear, all while ignoring irrelevant stimuli. The researchers created a training game with these specific task characteristics while eliminating...

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