Monday, April 29, 2013
Tetris is an awesome game!
The mesmerizing falling blocks seen in the Tetris video game could be a helpful tool for treating adult amblyopia, according to a small study in Current Biology.
The study involved 18 adults with a history of amblyopia. Half of the participants in the study played Tetris with their stronger eye patched. The other half had special goggles in place during their Tetris games. The goggles allowed the participants to see the falling blocks with their weaker eye, and the ground plane objects with their stronger eye.
The participants who wore the goggles fared better than the ones who patched their stronger eye. There was a statistically significant difference in vision improvement of the lazy eye and depth perception in the participants who were using the goggles. The researchers concluded that forcing the eyes to work together was more beneficial than patching, although both groups showed some improvement in the vision of their lazy eye.
Computers and video games have often been used as aids during vision therapy. Making the eyes work together through use of special video games is one treatment for children and adults with amblyopia.
“Dichoptic training enables the adult amblyopic brain to learn.” Current Biology, Volume 23, Issue 8, 22 April 2013, Pages R308-R309.
Jinrong Li, Benjamin Thompson, Daming Deng, Lily Y.L. Chan, Minbin Yu, Robert F. Hess
“Tetris may help adults with lazy eye, study finds.” From Huffington Post Online, April 23, 2013.