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Lindsey Holder, Muge Erol, Arien Mack, John Bert, Jason Clarke; Action video game playing does not reduce inattentional blindness. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):441. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/15.12.441.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Given the increased attentional and perceptual abilities exhibited by action video game players (AVGPs) (Green & Bavelier, 2003; Clark, Fleck, & Mitroff, 2011), it seems reasonable to expect them to perform differently on an inattentional blindness (IB) task from a non-gaming population. We explored whether this was the case. Using the Mack & Rock (1998) IB cross procedure, AVGPs (n=15) and non-video game players (NVGPs, n=14) reported the longer arm of a cross presented for 200 ms parafoveally on 7 trials. An unexpected word was presented at fixation with the cross on the 4th (critical inattention), 7th (critical divided attention), and 11th (critical full attention) trials. Participants were asked whether they had seen anything other than the cross on these critical trials and, if so, what. To establish that our populations were like those others had sampled, we included a change detection task, since others have found that AVGPs outperform NVGPs on change detection (Clark et al., 2011). We used the Rensink, O’Regan, & Clark (1997) flicker procedure; participants were asked to detect and identify changes in natural scenes repeatedly presented for up to 75 s (240 ms scene, 80 ms ISI). Our change detection data were consistent with that of others. AVGPs detected significantly more changes than NGVPs (p=.034) and correctly identified more of the changes (p=.047). Therefore, we were able to assume that we tested representative samples. In contrast to change detection, we found no significant differences in the frequency of IB between the groups (p=.359), suggesting that IB is impervious to the benefits of action video game playing, which is consistent with findings that meditators who also outperform controls on change detection do not do so with IB (Hodgins & Adair, 2010). Further research is required to determine what accounts for this difference.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015
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