Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Study Shows Playing Video Games Improves Women’s Spatial Skills

I thought this might be interesting to read:)

By Shawn on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007 at 12:15 PM PST
In Gamer Life, Games
Need a convincing argument to get your girlfriend, wife or daughter into gaming, or are you a girl gamer that needs extra leverage with your parents? A study at the University of Toronto has indicated that just a few hours of video game play can improve spatial awareness in females.
The research, to be published in the October issue of Psychological Science, suggests that a new approach involving action video games can be used to improve spatial skills. Women have been proven to test lower than men on spatial awareness based skills such as reading a map, driving a car, assembling a barbeque or learning advanced math. However the gap can be closed.
Our first experiment discovered a previously unknown sex difference in spatial attention,” said Jing Feng, a psychology doctoral student and lead author of the study. “On average, women are not quite as good at rapidly switching attention among different objects and this may be one reason why women do not do as well on spatial tasks. But more important than finding that difference, our second experiment showed that both men and women can improve their spatial skills by playing a video game and that the women catch up to the men,” Feng added. “Moreover, the improved performance of both sexes was maintained when we assessed them again after five months.”
Professor Ian Spence, director of the engineering psychology laboratory in the Department of Psychology, theorizes that playing action video games may actually trigger previously inactive genes that are crucial in developing neural pathways necessary for spatial attention.
“Clearly, something dramatic is happening in the brain when we see marked improvements in spatial skills after only 10 hours of game playing and these improvements are maintained for many months.”
Professor Spence expresses hope that video game training could help to encourage more young women to enter the mathematical sciences and engineering which are still male dominated fields.


At May 12, 2009 at 11:13 PM , Blogger dhoine said...

OK. Let's say women are behind men (in spatial skills of course). Both are playing games and both are improving their skills. So finally men are still better than women (on the average) :)

So this is not the way to catch us up, you have to find something else. Moreover it is well known, that males play more that girl.

The good psrt is, the matter concerns you, so welcome to the "Spatial Skills World" :D

At May 13, 2009 at 7:47 AM , Blogger Kasia said...

you got the point:) anyway i don't think women are trying to be better than guys because it's already a proven fact:):P
but seriously i know guys who have horrible spatial skills and women who have excellent but generally guys are better and finding their way (it has something to do with how our left and right brain hemispheres are connected) and women have better attention to details and language skills.

At May 15, 2009 at 5:19 AM , Blogger Bizzaro. said...

My girl knows her way around town way better than me but runs into more things than I do around the house... maybe I need to drive around more and let her play Portal.


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