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Daphne Bavelier, C. Shawn Green; When video game playing expands your mind's eye. Journal of Vision 2003;3(9):164. doi: 10.1167/3.9.164.
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Videogame playing puts extraordinary demands on our visual and motor skills, offering a unique opportunity to investigate learning and its limits in the visuo-motor domain. In a series of experiments, we have shown that videogame playing pushes the limits of visual attention skills. Videogame players (VGPs) were found to outperform non-videogame players (NVGPs) on the number of visual items they could apprehend at once as measured by an enumeration task, during the localization of eccentric targets among distractors as measured by the Useful Field of View, and during the processing of rapidly serially presented visual events as measured by the Attentional Blink paradigm. These results indicate that videogame playing enhances the capacity of visual attention as well as its spatial distribution and temporal resolution. Non-video gamers trained on a first-person point of view action videogame showed significant improvement from their pre-training scores on all three tasks indicating that as little as ten days of videogame playing can alter these fundamental aspects of visual attention. Thus, unlike most perceptual learning tasks that are rather specific, the learning induced by videogame playing generalizes to three rather different aspects of visual attention. There are multiple ways videogame training could lead to such an enhancement. Changes in known attentional bottlenecks is certainly a possibility; however speeded perceptual processes and/or better management of several tasks at the central executive level are also likely to contribute.
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