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Front Psychol. 2015 Jun 16;6:843. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00843. eCollection 2015.

Examination of mechanisms underlying enhanced memory performance in action video game players: a pilot study.

Author information

1
Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics, Ministry of Education, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics, School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai China.
2
Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics, Ministry of Education, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Brain Functional Genomics, School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai China ; Department of Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA USA.

Abstract

Previous studies have shown enhanced memory performance resulting from extensive action video game playing. The mechanisms underlying the cognitive benefit were investigated in the current study. We presented two types of retro-cues, with variable intervals to memory array (Task 1) or test array (Task 2), during the retention interval in a change detection task. In Task 1, action video game players demonstrated steady performance while non-action video game players showed decreased performance as cues occurred later, indicating their performance difference increased as the cue-to-memory-array intervals became longer. In Task 2, both participant groups increased their performance at similar rates as cues presented later, implying the performance difference in two groups were irrespective of the test-array-to-cue intervals. These findings suggested that memory benefit from game plays is not attributable to the higher ability of overcoming interference from the test array, but to the interactions between the two processes of protection from decay and resistance from interference, or from alternative hypotheses. Implications for future studies were discussed.

KEYWORDS:

action video game; change detection; memory decay; partial-report procedure; retro-cue

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