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J Vis. 2010 Dec 29;10(14). pii: 33. doi: 10.1167/10.14.33.

Reducing backward masking through action game training.

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Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department and Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627-0268, USA.


Action video game play enhances basic visual skills such as crowding acuity and contrast sensitivity (C. S. Green & D. Bavelier, 2007; R. Li, U. Polat, W. Makous, & D. Bavelier, 2009). Here, we ask whether the dynamics of perception may also be altered as a result of playing action games. A backward masking paradigm was used to test the hypothesis that action video game play also alters the temporal dynamics of vision. As predicted, action gamers showed reduced backward masking and an accompanying training study established the causal role of action game play in this enhancement. Implications of this result are discussed in the context of the faster reaction times and enhanced sensitivity also documented after action game play.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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