One of the most serious problems associated with aging concerns the decline in perceptual-motor skills, due to illness and/or lack of use based on poor motivation. Investigations of training programs to improve hand-eye coordination have yielded mixed results. A study was conducted to examine the effects of a training program to improve hand-eye coordination using an arcade video game with noninstitutionalized older men (N=2) and women (N=9). A limited control group of one man and one woman was included. All subjects completed a battery of instruments which included the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R), the Rotary Pursuit, the Purdue Pegboard, and the Senior Level of Functioning Test. For 2 months experimental subjects participated in twice weekly training sessions on the Atari video game "Crystal Castles." Following the training period, all subjects completed posttests of the original battery of instruments. The results indicated that the experimental group demonstrated significant improvement in scores on the video game, the Rotary Pursuit, and the Purdue Pegboard. The experimental group's improvement on the WAIS-R full scale and the Verbal and Performance subtests also proved significant. Neither control subject showed improvements on any of the measures. In addition, experimental subjects reported improved coordination, better driving habits, and fewer minor mishaps at home. (NRB)
Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (Boston, MA, March 21-24, 1985).