Now researchers from McGill University believe that Tetris can help treat “lazy eye,” a condition that prevents both eyes from looking in the same direction due to a “loss or lack of development of central vision in one eye,” according to the American Optometric Association.
The video game works by training both eyes to work together, according to a press release from the university.
Lazy eye usually develops during early childhood and can lead to permanent loss of vision in the weak eye if left untreated.
Conventional treatment involves covering the good eye with a patch in order to to force the weaker eye to work.
This method, however, has not been very successful in adults and only moderately successful in children, researchers wrote in a statement.
In a small study that involved just 18 people researchers found that playing Tetris was more effective at strengthening the weak eye than the standard treatment.
The findings were published the journal Current Biology
“When we get the two eyes working together, we find the vision improves,” lead researcher Dr. Robert Hess told the BBC’s Michelle Roberts. “It’s much better than patching, much more enjoyable, it’s faster and it seems to work better.”
Hess said that many computer games could have a similar effect.
In the Oxford study, scientists concluded that the Tetris’s high demand on visual special skills disrupts and prevents the mental images associated with traumatic flashbacks.
Here’s a handy Slate report on Tetris and PTSD:
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