OCT 02, 2020 9:24 PM PDT

Does Screen Time Affect Vision?

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

The new normal involves a lot of screen time to minimize in-person contact. Does all that screen time from virtual school to virtual work, affect your vision? The short answer is no—at least to recent research from Psychology Professor and Cognitive and Brain Sciences Coordinator Peter Gerhardstein's lab at Binghamton University.

The study discusses that our visual perception is adaptive to changes—such as increased screen time.

"The finding in the work is that the human perceptual system rapidly adjusts to a substantive alteration in the statistics of the visual world, which, as we show, is what happens when someone is playing video games," Gerhardstein said.

The study focused on the visual perception in the environment which is a basic element of vision. Findings were published as "Mind-Craft: Exploring the Effect of Digital Visual Experience on Changes in Orientation Sensitivity in Visual Contour Perception," the journal Perception.

"Is it adaptive for them to develop a visual system that is highly sensitive to this particular environment? Many would argue that it is," he said. "I would instead suggest that a highly flexible system that can shift from one perceptual 'set' to another rapidly, so that observers are responding appropriately to the statistics of a digital environment while interacting with digital media, and then shifting to respond appropriately to the statistics of a natural scene or a cityscape, would be most adaptive."

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
  • Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
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