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Video Games Improve Sensorimotor Skills in Students, Study Finds

Video Games Improve Sensorimotor Skills in Students, Study Finds

Video games are becoming a popular method of teaching in the classroom, and studies are finding there are plenty of benefits of playing video games, including alleviating stress and sharpening eye-hand coordination skills. 

A team at the University of Toronto found that playing video games "regularly helps gamers learn new sensorimotor skills, especially eye and hand coordination," said an article on TechTimes.com. 

"We wanted to understand if chronic video game playing has an effect on sensorimotor control, that is, the coordinated function of vision and hand movement," said University of Toronto graduate student Davood Gozli in the article.

Sensorimotor skills, the article said, "include tasks like riding a bicycle or typing, which rely on using what you see with your eyes and coordinating your muscles so that they operate accordingly."

In the team's first experiment, researchers "had 18 regular gamers [those who played action games at least three times a week for at least two hours each play session] and 18 non-gamers," the article said. "Researchers set volunteers in front of a computer and told them to play a game using a computer mouse to track a small square on the screen in front of them that moved around in a complicated repeated pattern."

Neither of the two groups, the article said, "had an advantage over the other with this eye and hand coordination task." Over time, however, "the gamers improved faster, becoming better at the game than in non-gamers. This suggests that gamers have an advantage in learning patterns that require sensorimotor skills."

In their second experiment, the article said, researchers had both groups play the game, but this time, " the pattern didn't repeat but changed randomly. Both groups performed about the same this time, but the gamers learned the patterns better."

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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