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Action games help your brain, researcher says

If you wanted to feel good about your brain without leaving your chair, cognitive researcher Daphne Bavelier has some great news. The idea that video games mess up your vision and contribute to attention deficit orders is not only bunk, she said at a recent TED conference (via Polygon), but action gamers perform measurably better in those areas.

She started with vision, saying action games such as the Call of Duty series can actually improve vision in two different ways: helping players to resolve small detail within a bunch of clutter and see better through different levels of grey (like distinguishing traffic on a foggy day).

She also said action gamers are better at resolving attention conflicts. That means keeping multiple items in your attention at once: people who play action-packed games can track six to seven simultaneously while the average young adult can only do three to four.

All in all, the effects of video games on the brain are similar to those of red wine on health, she said. The right amount consumed at the right age can actually be very helpful.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.