Playing Action Video Games May Boost Driving Skills: Study

Playing Action Video Games May Boost Driving Skills: Study

Playing action-based video games may boost the players’ ability to coordinate visual information with their motor control – a skill critical to many real-world behaviours including driving, says new research.

The findings showed that playing some types of video games can confer benefits for specific visual abilities such as sensitivity to contrast and visuo-spatial attention.

“The research shows that playing easily accessible action video games can be a cost-effective tool to help people improve essential visuomotor-control skills used for driving,” said lead researcher Li Li, Associate Professor at New York University in Shanghai, China.

Experienced action gamers showed much greater precision in keeping to their lane and showed less deviation from centre in the face of increasing headwinds, when compared to the participants with little to no action video game experience.

To establish a causal link between action video games and visuomotor control skills, the team recruited participants who had no action video gaming experience to take part in a training study.

They then compared the visuomotor abilities of players who had played at least 5 hours per week over the previous 6 months to participants who had negligible action video game experience.

The participants were randomly assigned to either an action video game group or a control group, and they completed a total of 10 1-hour training sessions.

The data showed that playing “Mario Kart,” a fast-paced action video game, improved participants’ visuomotor control skills on the target dot task after five hours of training.

Those who played “Roller Coaster Tycoon”, a non-action strategy game, showed no such improvement over time.

For novice drivers, training with driving video games may be more helpful, the researchers suggested in the work published in the journal Psychological Science.

Tags: Apps, Gaming, Science, Video Games

 

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Local Man Uses Computer Skills to Help K9 Officers in our Area

(ABC 6 News) — A Rochester man is using his knowledge putting together computers to raise money for charities.

“Computers for a Cause” founder Kevin Ronken is partnering with Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office to raise money for a K-9 bulletproof vest.

They are raffling off a computer tower decorated with the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office’s logo and colors. It comes with a LED monitor, wireless printer, speakers, keyboard and mouse worthy almost $2,000.

“This is just the start and I’m hoping I can grow this into something big to help out a lot more people….a lot more canines but also you know I’m a disabled veteran so one of my goal is to build this charity up so I can help disabled veterans…I enjoy helping people, just want to help out.”, expresses Kevin.

For those interested in buying a $5.00 raffle ticket, click on this link:Computers for a Cause.

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US Cyber-Security Experts Test Skills in Exercise Meant to Stop Attacks

US Cyber-Security Experts Test Skills in Exercise Meant to Stop Attacks

The moment a US official pressed a computer key Tuesday, dozens of security experts who gathered in an underground control room girded themselves for a cyber-attack – a drill meant to thwart the kinds of intrusions that have recently crippled health networks and retail giants.

The weeklong event run by the Homeland Security Department and hosted by the US Secret Service is now a decade old. But officials say this week’s exercises are becoming more important as both the government and private sector have reeled from breaches of personal data.

More than 1,000 US cyber-security professionals are participating in – and testing how well they respond to – a mock attack, said Gregory Touhill, a Homeland Security Department deputy assistant secretary for cyber-security protection. They’ll be working together for three days in Washington and across the nation.

“Retail and health care have been in the headlines – and, frankly, in the crosshairs for a lot of criminals,” Touhill said. Household names like Target Corp., The Home Depot, UCLA Health Systems and AnthemInc. have all faced recent cyber-attacks that compromised millions of their customers’ data.

(Also see:  Anthem Hit by Massive Cyber-Security breach)

US officials wouldn’t detail the attack scenarios unfolding this week because they said it would tip off the drill’s participants. But they said their event has one, overarching scenario, with roughly 1,000 smaller events – spurred by a phone call, an email or a news article – that could be indicators of an looming cyber-attack.

Suzanne Spaulding, a top Homeland Security cyber official, said the “challenge is here and now.” She pointed to a “nightmare” scenario last December, in which hackers attacked the Ukrainian electrical grid and cut power to about a quarter-million people.

During previous US-led tests, officials found what they called areas for improvement. Touhill said at least two areas from a previous test are still being addressed, including ensuring people have and follow protocols, and security personnel share information effectively.

Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy described the event Tuesday as a way to stay one step ahead of criminals who’ve taken advantage of new and changing technology, and who have changed their own tactics.

In addition to eight participating state governments – Wyoming, Missouri, Mississippi, Georgia, Maine, Nevada, Oklahoma and Oregon – officials from five countries are also observing the exercises. The Homeland Security Department wouldn’t reveal the countries involved.

Other participants include health companies, Internet service providers, telephone companies and retail organizations. The aim is to test human response and coordination, not necessarily the participants’ technical skills.

“We’re looking to find the failure points, to raise the bar in every scenario,” Touhill said.

Recent attacks have also hammered the financial sector, in which a 2014 data breach at JPMorgan Chase affected more than 76 million households and 7 million small businesses. The bank said hackers may have stolen names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.

Meanwhile, US officials told Congress last year the Office of Personnel Management didn’t take basic steps to secure their computer networks. That allowed to Chinese-linked hackers to steal private information about nearly every federal employee, as well as detailed personal histories of millions who had security clearances.

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Tags: Cyber attack, Cyber security, Homeland Security Department, Internet
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