Who's gaming in your house? You change your brain depending on how you use it, so what are we doing?
This latest study from Rochester shows that action-based video games can broaden and visual spatial attention - for central as well as peripheral targets.
Is this a good thing? Well, like a lot of brain activities, it depends. For many disciplines requiring motion-related visual spatial expertise (fighter pilot, air flight controller, soldier, cinematographer, spatial modeling researcher), this could definitely be a good thing. For individuals with limited visual spans due to wiring differences (dyslexia, autism, prematurity, etc.), this might also be very valuable.
But for those 1st and 2nd graders whose are complaining they aren't paying attention, probably not. When resources are scarce, visual and auditory attention often compete. Action gaming for auditory attention-weak children could improve their visual sensitivity and accuracy, but it may also weaken listening.
Video Games Train Visual Spatial Attention
NYT: Gaming Helps Surgical Skill
Cell Phone Conversations Impair Visual Attention
Eide NL Blog: More Visual Learning or How to Avoid Failure in the First Grade
Technorati tags: video games,attention, ADHD, children, science, brain