Are you naturally good at shooters? Research suggests some gamers see more fps than others

There are differences in perception speed which could at least partly account for why top professional gamers are so much better than us.

1 minute & 26 seconds read time

Top gamers and athletes may have an advantage in terms of being able to see more images per second than us mere mortals, according to a new study.

This means they can more easily track fast moving objects, like a ball, or opponents in a shooter, with obvious advantages therein in terms of positioning or aiming.

The Guardian picked up on the research from Trinity College Dublin, published in Plos One, which tested some 80 people (aged 18 to 35) to find out whether they could tell if a light was flickering or not as the rate of flicker was increased.

So, as the flicker rate was upped - the frames per second, if you will - people eventually observed the light as constant, meaning they couldn't detect the flicker any longer, at different points.

Some couldn't see any higher than around 35 times per second with the flickering, whereas others could detect 60 times per second or more. Interestingly, there was a pretty wide variance in how people performed on an overall level.

Clinton Haarlem, one of the researchers whose PhD is a project on 'variation in the frame rate of visual perception,' said:

"We think that people who see flicker at higher rates basically have access to a little bit more visual information per timeframe than people on the lower-end of the spectrum."

Professor Kevin Mitchell, who supervised the research, and is a neurobiologist at Trinity College Dublin, added:

"We believe that individual differences in perception speed might become apparent in high-speed situations where one might need to locate or track fast-moving objects, such as in ball sports, or in situations where visual scenes change rapidly, such as in competitive gaming."

Of course, this is a relatively small study and sample which is far from conclusive, but the theories are intriguing.

It certainly casts new light on the argument about how much refresh rate is enough with monitors, for example, backing up what we already thought - namely that it's a pretty subjective matter, and some gamers may notice the difference with much higher refresh rates compared to others.

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Darren has written for numerous magazines and websites in the technology world for almost 30 years, including TechRadar, PC Gamer, Eurogamer, Computeractive, and many more. He worked on his first magazine (PC Home) long before Google and most of the rest of the web existed. In his spare time, he can be found gaming, going to the gym, and writing books (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was published by Hachette UK in 2013).

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