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Top Cogn Sci. 2010 Apr;2(2):202-16. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-8765.2009.01054.x. Epub 2009 Oct 30.

Perceptual learning during action video game playing.

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Department of Psychology, Center for Cognitive Sciences, University of MinnesotaDepartment of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester.


Action video games have been shown to enhance behavioral performance on a wide variety of perceptual tasks, from those that require effective allocation of attentional resources across the visual scene, to those that demand the successful identification of fleetingly presented stimuli. Importantly, these effects have not only been shown in expert action video game players, but a causative link has been established between action video game play and enhanced processing through training studies. Although an account based solely on attention fails to capture the variety of enhancements observed after action game playing, a number of models of perceptual learning are consistent with the observed results, with behavioral modeling favoring the hypothesis that avid video game players are better able to form templates for, or extract the relevant statistics of, the task at hand. This may suggest that the neural site of learning is in areas where information is integrated and actions are selected; yet changes in low-level sensory areas cannot be ruled out.


Perceptual learning; Video games

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