October 2020
Volume 20, Issue 11
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   October 2020
“Learning to learn” as a new path for learning generalization in working memory: the case of action video game play
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ru-Yuan Zhang
    Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Center for Visual Sciences, University of Rochester, Rochester NY 14628
    Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, Department of Neuroscience, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455
  • Adrien Chopin
    Faculté de Psychologie et Science de l’Education, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
    Institut de la Vision, Sorbonne University, Paris, France
  • Kengo Shibata
    Faculté de Psychologie et Science de l’Education, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Zhong-Lin Lu
    NYU Shanghai and Center for Neural Science, New York University, NY. 10003
  • Susanne M. Jaeggi
    School of Education and School of Social Sciences (Department of Cognitive Sciences), University of California, Irvine, Irvine CA 92697
  • Martin Buschkuehl
    MIND Research Institute, Irvine CA 92617
  • C.Shawn Green
    Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI 53706
  • Daphne Bavelier
    Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Center for Visual Sciences, University of Rochester, Rochester NY 14628
    Faculté de Psychologie et Science de l’Education, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  Office of Naval Research award N00014-14-1-0512 (DB&CSG), Swiss National Foundation Grant 100014_140676 (DB), National Eye Institute EY020976 (DB), Center of Visual Science training grant EY001319, National Eye Institute Grant EY017491 (ZLL), and National Institute on Aging Grant 1K02AG054665 (SMJ).
Journal of Vision October 2020, Vol.20, 1697. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.1697
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      Ru-Yuan Zhang, Adrien Chopin, Kengo Shibata, Zhong-Lin Lu, Susanne M. Jaeggi, Martin Buschkuehl, C.Shawn Green, Daphne Bavelier; “Learning to learn” as a new path for learning generalization in working memory: the case of action video game play. Journal of Vision 2020;20(11):1697. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.1697.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

It has recently been hypothesized that the broad perceptual and cognitive enhancements induced by action video game (AVG) play relies partially on the ability to quickly learn a new task (i.e., ‘learning-to-learn’; Bavelier et al., 2012). Here, we report convergent results supporting this hypothesis from three studies conducted at several distinct sites. In the first study, we recruited avid action video game players (AVGP, n=9) and non-video game players (NVGP, n=20) to perform a dual N-back working memory learning task. During the task, participants simultaneously performed an adaptive N-back task in both visual and auditory domains. We measured the N-back level reached in each of ten learning sessions. We found that AVGPs showed a higher learning rate than NVGPs. In the second study, we trained two groups of non-video gamers on action games (n = 14) or life/business simulation games (n = 11), respectively, for forty hours. Learning speed in the same N-back learning task was estimated after game training. We found that the action group learned faster than the control group, demonstrating a causal link between AVG experience and enhanced learning. In the third study, we replicated the same training experiment as above in 52 additional participants with low-to-moderate game experience, this time ensuring that experimenters were blind to group assignment. Again, faster learning was seen in the AVG trained group, particularly in participants with low initial game experience (the effect was in the same direction but non-significant in participants with more moderate previous game experience). In both Studies 2 and 3, we also found that individual differences in attentional control measured by a multiple-object-tracking task predicted participant’s learning rate in the N-back task. Taken together, these convergent results provide evidence for the “learning-to-learn” mechanism as a new framework to conceptualize the broad learning generalization induced by AVG play.

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