Enhancing the contrast sensitivity function through action video game training


The contrast sensitivity function (CSF) is routinely assessed in clinical evaluation of vision and is the primary limiting factor in how well one sees. CSF improvements are typically brought about by correction of the optics of the eye with eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgery. We found that the very act of action video game playing also enhanced contrast sensitivity, providing a complementary route to eyesight improvement.

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Figure 1: Improved CSF as a result of action video game experience.
Figure 2: Improved critical duration as a result of action video game experience.


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We thank C.S. Green for his invaluable help and advice throughout this project, and A. Anderson, S. Bailey, A. Katz, M. Maciejewski, A. States, P. Santos and B. Hubert-Wallander for their help in running the training studies. This work was supported in part by grants from the US National Institutes of Health (EY016880), the James S. McDonnell Foundation and the Office of Naval Research to D.B. and the Israel Science Foundation to U.P.

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Correspondence to Daphne Bavelier.

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Li, R., Polat, U., Makous, W. et al. Enhancing the contrast sensitivity function through action video game training. Nat Neurosci 12, 549–551 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.2296

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