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C. S. Green, D. Bavelier; The effect of action video game playing on the useful field of view. Journal of Vision 2004;4(11):52. https://doi.org/10.1167/4.11.52.
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We have recently proposed that action video game play enhances several different aspects of visual attention1. Here we further test this view by assessing the effect of video game play on variants of the Useful Field of View (UFOV2), a task that requires subjects to locate a briefly presented peripheral target. Performance on the UFOV does not correlate well with standard tests of visual acuity but rather provides a measure of attentional resources and their spatial distribution. We have previously shown that habitual video game players (VGPs) outperform non-video game players (NVGPs) on this task. Here we show that they do so whether the target is presented in isolation or amongst distractors, suggesting that both automatic orienting and visual selective attention are improved in VGPs. We also extend these results to the case of divided attention by having subjects perform the peripheral localization task with and without a concurrent central discrimination task. VGPs exhibited markedly greater accuracy than NVGPs in the peripheral localization task in both conditions. In addition, VGPs outperformed NVGPs on the center discrimination task itself, suggesting that the increase in peripheral localization ability was not at the cost of decreased central attention. In each experiment, NVGPs were specifically trained on an action video game and showed similar enhancements. Together, these results support the view that action video game play leads to enhanced spatial attention and importantly demonstrates that this enhancement is not due to a redistribution of central attention resources to the visual periphery.
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