Thursday, September 22, 2005

Video Gamers & Visual Spatial Expertise - Hands of a Surgeon?

There's been a sudden burst of papers showing the visual spatial expertise of experienced video game players. Maybe that's a good thing because a recent study found that 94% of adolescents play videogames for an average of 9 hours per week. The average age of a video gamer is 29 years old.

The data below are from a study at Beth Israel which found that skillfulness and frequency of playing video games was a better predictor of surgical skills (as measured on a standardized drill task) than years in practice or previous number of cases performed. Very interesting.



Importantly, gamers were not just quicker, but they were more accurate - as seen in their lower error rates below.



The second paper below (from Wash U St. Louis) also found that frequent video gamers were better visually - both in terms of visual response times and fewer impulsive errors. They could be onto something...

Video Gamers Better Surgeons?
Video Gaming & Visual Search

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