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Postdoc J. 2016 Sep;4(9):32-36.

Defining the cognitive enhancing properties of video games: Steps Towards Standardization and Translation.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Brain Sciences Center, VA Medical Center, Minneapolis MN, USA; Department of Neurology, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis MN, USA; Brain Sciences Center, VA Medical Center, Minneapolis MN, USA.
Brain Sciences Center, VA Medical Center, Minneapolis MN, USA; Graduate Program in Neuroscience, University of Minnesota, USA.


Ever since video games were available to the general public, they have intrigued brain researchers for many reasons. There is an enormous amount of diversity in the video game research, ranging from types of video games used, the amount of time spent playing video games, the definition of video gamer versus non-gamer to the results obtained after playing video games. In this paper, our goal is to provide a critical discussion of these issues, along with some steps towards generalization using the discussion of an article published by Clemenson and Stark (2005) as the starting point. The authors used a distinction between 2D versus 3D video games to compare their effects on the learning and memory in humans. The primary hypothesis of the authors is that the exploration of virtual environments while playing video games is a human correlate of environment enrichment. Authors found that video gamers performed better than the non-video gamers, and if non-gamers are trained on playing video gamers, 3D games provide better environment enrichment compared to 2D video games, as indicated by better memory scores. The end goal of standardization in video games is to be able to translate the field so that the results can be used for greater good.


3D vs 2D; Cognition; Dimensionality; Environmental enrichment; Lure Discrimination Index (LDI); Video Games; Virtual Environment


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