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Chen Rongrong, Chen Jing, Li Li; Action videogame playing improves visual-motor control before it improves vision. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):690. doi: 10.1167/12.9.690.
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Although action videogame playing can benefit basic visual functions such as contrast sensitivity (Li, Polat, Makous, & Bavelier, 2009), it remains in question how action videogame playing affects visual-motor control, the skill most exercised during videogame playing. We therefore examined the effect of action videogame training on a closed-loop manual control task in which participants used a joystick to keep a Gaussian blob (8.7°) centered on a 110° x 94° display as its horizontal position was perturbed by the sum of seven harmonically-unrelated sinusoids (0.1-2.19 Hz). Six naïve Non-Videogame Players (NVGPs, 3 males, 3 females) were trained with an action videogame (Mario Kart Wii, Nintendo), and five naïve NVGPs (2 males, 3 females) were trained with a non-action, strategy videogame (Roller Coaster Tycoon III, Atari) for 1-2 hours a day for 10 hours in total. Their performance on the manual control task was measured before the training, after 5-hour training, and at the end of the full 10-hour training, while their contrast sensitivity function (CSF) was measured before and after training. For the manual control task, 90 s time series of blob position and joystick displacement were Fourier analyzed and averaged across six trials. For the group of NVGPs trained with the action videogame, RMS error decreased by 14% (SD: 8%) after 5-hour training and by 20% (SD: 6%) at the end of the 10-hour training, and frequency response analysis showed an increase in overall control response (gain) by 24% (SD: 11%) after 5-hour training and by 32% (SD: 15%) at the end of the 10-hour training. In contrast, no change of RMS or gain was observed for the group trained with the non-action videogame. For both groups, no change in CSF was found. Our results show that action videogame playing can improve visual-motor control without affecting basic visual functions.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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