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Simone Gori, Sandro Franceschini, Milena Ruffino, Maria Enrica Sali, Massimo Molteni, Andrea Facoetti; Is Action Video Game Training Able to Prevent Future Reading Impairment?. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):692. doi: 10.1167/14.10.692.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Learning to read is extremely difficult for about 10% of children; they are affected by a neurodevelopmental disorder called dyslexia. The neurocognitive causes of dyslexia are still hotly debated. To date, dyslexia prevention is only a dream far from being achieved. Here, we demonstrate that only 20 hours of playing action video games—not involving any direct phonological or orthographic training—drastically improve early visual and auditory predictors of future reading abilities in pre-reading children at risk of dyslexia. We tested rapid naming, letter recognition, auditory-phonological skills (i.e., earliest predictors of reading acquisition) and visuo-attentional abilities in three matched groups of pre-readers at familiar and cognitive risk of dyslexia before and after they played action, non-action video games or no-treatment for 20 sessions of 60 minutes per day. We found that only playing action video games improved children's visual and phonological predictors of future reading abilities. Temporal and spatial attentional skills improved during action video game training and correlate with both visual and auditory-phonological reading predictors. It has been demonstrated that action video games efficiently improve attention and reading abilities in children with dyslexia; our results showed, for the first time, that these attention improvements can directly translate into better language abilities, providing a new, fast and fun prevention training for dyslexia that has theoretical relevance in unveiling the causal role of attention in reading acquisition.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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