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Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2013 Feb;16(2):140-4. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2012.0103. Epub 2012 Dec 18.

Effects of chronic video game use on time perception: differences between sub- and multi-second intervals.

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Department of Psychobiology, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


Even though video game players frequently report losing track of time while playing, few studies have addressed whether there are long-lasting effects of such activity on time perception. We compared the performance of chronic and occasional video game players in sub- and multi-second time perception tasks. Temporal Discrimination and Temporal Bisection tasks, in the range of 100 to 1,000 milliseconds, and Time estimation and Time production tasks, in the range of 5 to 60 seconds, were used to assess sub- and multi-second time perceptions, respectively. Chronic video game players performed significantly better than occasional players on sub-second tasks, but no group difference was found for the multi-second tasks used. Sub- and multi-second time perceptions are associated to different underlying systems: automatic and cognitive controlled for sub- and multi-second tasks, respectively. We argue that video game use seems to induce more efficient implicit, rather than cognitive controlled, processing of time.

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