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Neuroreport. 2018 Mar 21;29(5):393-396. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0000000000000981.

Habitual action video game players display increased cortical thickness in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, McGill University, Verdun.
McConnell Brain Imaging Centre, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University.
Department of Psychology, Centre de Recherche en Neuropsychologie et Cogntion, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Action video game players (aVGPs) display increased performance in attention-based tasks and enhanced procedural motor learning. In parallel, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is centrally implicated in specific types of reward-based learning and attentional control, the execution or inhibition of motor commands, and error detection. These processes are hypothesized to support aVGP in-game performance and enhanced learning though in-game feedback. We, therefore, tested the hypothesis that habitual aVGPs would display increased cortical thickness compared with nonvideo game players (nonVGPs). Results showed that the aVGP group (n=17) displayed significantly higher levels of cortical thickness specifically in the dorsal ACC compared with the nonVGP group (n=16). Results are discussed in the context of previous findings examining video game experience, attention/performance, and responses to affective components such as pain and fear.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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