State effects of action video-game playing on visuospatial processing efficiency and attention among experienced action video-game players

Abstract

Although researchers have speculated action video gaming might induce the state of “flow experience”, most previous experimental studies have focused primarily on the long-term (trait) effects of action video gaming, while overlooking possible short-term (state) effects characterizing the “flow” state. The goal of the current research was to investigate the state effects of action video games on visual-spatial processing efficiency and visual-spatial attention. We compared the baseline performance of experienced action video game players on two visual-spatial tasks and Attention Network Test with their performance on these tasks immediately after action video-gaming. The findings indicate half an hour of action video-game playing temporarily boosted participants’ performances on tasks that require visual memory, spatial transformations (mental rotation), and executive network of attention. The existence of such enhanced cognitive states implies the possibility of consciously accessing the latent resources of our brain and boosting our attentional and visual capacity upon demand.


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