Gaming makes you better at perceiving amounts of things, study shows

Gaming skills

The more time you spend playing computer games, the better you are at guessing the number of objects at a quick glance, according to a new study.

The improved ability at perceiving amounts is due to attention processes in the brain being trained during gaming, according to research from neuroscientists in the Germany city of Tuebingen.

Joana Staeb and Uwe Ilg from the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research and the University of Tuebingen recruited passionate gamers who spent more than four hours a week playing games for the study, published in the scientific journal Addiction Biology.

People who spent significantly less time playing video games served as a control group. During the experiment, both groups were shown two circles with dots on a screen.

They each had to spontaneously indicate in which circle there were more dots. This allowed the researchers to determine their perception threshold.

The results of the test lead the researchers to believe that playing computer games influences how our brain direct and control attention. "The ability to estimate quantities at a glance can actually be trained," study leader Ilg said in the report, published in June. – dpa

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