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Comput Human Behav. 2012 May;28(3):984-994.

The effect of action video game experience on task-switching.

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1
Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53717.

Abstract

There is now a substantial body of work demonstrating that action video game experience results in enhancements in a wide variety of perceptual skills. More recently, several groups have also demonstrated improvements in abilities that are more cognitive in nature, in particular, the ability to efficiently switch between tasks. In a series of four experiments, we add to this body of work, demonstrating that the action video game player advantage is not exclusively due to an ability to map manual responses onto arbitrary buttons, but rather generalizes to vocal responses, is not restricted to tasks that are perceptual in nature (e.g. respond to a physical dimension of the stimulus such as its color), but generalizes to more cognitive tasks (e.g. is a number odd or even), and is present whether the switch requires a goal-switch or only a motor switch. Finally, a training study establishes that the relationship between the reduction in switch cost and action game playing is causal.

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