First-person shooters in shades of gray.

From Chris Pirillo’s Lockergnome comes news of good cheer to those who can’t tear their gaze away from Left4Dead for more than a few seconds at a time. Researchers have concluded that video games improve vision:

The ability to discern slight differences in shades of gray has long been thought to be an attribute of the human visual system that cannot be improved. But Daphne Bavelier, professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester, has discovered that very practiced action gamers become 58 percent better at perceiving fine differences in contrast.

“Normally, improving contrast sensitivity means getting glasses or eye surgery—somehow changing the optics of the eye,” says Bavelier. “But we’ve found that action video games train the brain to process the existing visual information more efficiently, and the improvements last for months after game play stopped.”

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