Video games can change a person's brain and, as researchers are finding, often that change is for the better.
A growing body of university research suggests that gaming improves creativity, decision-making and perception. The specific benefits are wide ranging, from improved hand-eye coordination in surgeons to vision changes that boost night driving ability.
People who played action-based video and computer games made decisions 25 percent faster than others without sacrificing accuracy, according to a study. Indeed, the most adept gamers can make choices and act on them up to six times a second -- four times faster than most people, other researchers found. Moreover, practiced game players can pay attention to more than six things at once without getting confused, compared with the four that someone can normally keep in mind, said University of Rochester researchers. The studies were conducted independently of the companies that sell video and computer games.
Scientists also found that women -- who make up about 42 percent of computer and videogame players -- were better able to mentally manipulate 3D objects, a skill at which men are generally more adept. Most studies looked at adults rather than children.