Visual Memory Research

Interesting visual memory research with Duke University varsity soccer players used strobe glasses to find out whether the strobes have an effect on short-term memory retention. Apparently, visual memory improved and the effects lasted for 24 hours.

How did it work?

visual memory research: strobe glasses improved short-term memory in soccer players

Visual Memory Research

Participants completed a memory test that required them to note the identity of eight letters of the alphabet that were briefly displayed on a computer screen. After a variable delay, participants were asked to recall one of the eight letters. On easy-level trials, the recall prompt came immediately after the letters disappeared, but on more difficult trials, the prompt came as late as 2.5 seconds following the display. Because participants did not know which letter they would be asked to recall, they had to retain all of the items in memory.
“Humans have a memory buffer in their brain that keeps information alive for a certain short-lived period,” said Greg Appelbaum, assistant professor of psychiatry at Duke and first author of the study. “Wearing the strobe eye wear during the physical training seemed to boost the ability to retain information in this buffer.”
The strobe eye wear disrupts vision by only allowing the user to see glimpses of the world. Users must adjust their visual processing in order to perform normally, and this adjustment produces a lingering benefit: once participants removed the strobe eye wear, there was an observed boost in their visual memory retention that was found to still be active 24 hours later.
Read more.

Interesting study, but more importantly, what is the practical application of these results? How does the common everyday person not involved in this visual memory research gain these same benefits? We’ll have to wait and see.


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