Study: Reaction Times Lowered Via Video Games

The folks over at Rochester have another study published on the benefits of playing action video games. Dr. Daphne Bavelier and C. Shawn Green have published in the past on the improved visual plasticity action video game players gain, and evidence of improved eyesight from playing. This article, with lead writer Matthew Dye, focuses on increased mental processing which apparently does not adversely affect accuracy.

Here’s the abstract:

In many everyday situations, speed is of the essence. However, fast decisions typically mean more mistakes. To this day, it remains unknown whether reaction times can be reduced with appropriate training, within one individual, across a range of tasks, and without compromising accuracy. Here we review evidence that the very act of playing action video games significantly reduces reaction times without sacrificing accuracy. Critically, this increase in speed is observed across various tasks beyond game situations. Video gaming may therefore provide an efficient training regimen to induce a general speeding of perceptual reaction times without decreases in accuracy of performance.

References:
Dye, M.W.G., Green, C.S., & Bavelier, D. (2009, December). Increasing speed of processing with action video games. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18(6). 321-326.


6 Comments

  • By George, January 23, 2010 @ 5:58 pm

    “Video gaming may therefore provide an efficient training regimen to induce a general speeding of perceptual reaction times without decreases in accuracy of performance.” As interesting as that sounds, I don’t believe many people will take something like that seriously enough to put it to work.

    Maybe in the near future, but likely not now.

  • By John Rice, January 24, 2010 @ 10:19 am

    @ George – Video games are used for training air traffic controllers and keeping their reflexes sharp. It’s thought driving games might help teen and elderly drivers, too.

    JR

  • By TheMonkeyz, November 19, 2010 @ 8:27 am

    Driving games do help a lot. I’ve driven cars about 3 times in my life. The first time was just a slow ride and was easy. The second was with and automatic Ford Eclipse in a parking with 5-6 inches of snow. The car did exactly what I wanted even tough I’ve only practiced this on my computer before. The third time was in a manual pickup truck on wet grass, I managed to drift perfectly around a barrel; I felt it was exactly like what I was doing in the simulation game “Live for Speed”.

    So I don’t have scientific proof that driving games improve real-life driving, but I can say it worked for me. Maybe the bicycling in the snow for all theses year helped too.

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