Scientific article

Changes in search rate but not in the dynamics of exogenous attention in action videogame players

Published inAttention, perception & psychophysics, vol. 73, no. 8, p. 2399-2412
Publication date2011

Many previous studies have shown that the speed of processing in attentionally demanding tasks seems enhanced following habitual action videogame play. However, using one of the diagnostic tasks for efficiency of attentional processing, a visual search task, Castel and collaborators (Castel, Pratt, & Drummond, Acta Psychologica 1119:217–230, 2005) reported no difference in visual search rates, instead proposing that action gaming may change response execution time rather than the efficiency of visual selective attention per se. Here we used two hard visual search tasks, one measuring reaction time and the other accuracy, to test whether visual search rate may be changed by action videogame play. We found greater search rates in the gamer group than in the nongamer controls, consistent with increased efficiency in visual selective attention. We then asked how general the change in attentional throughput noted so far in gamers might be by testing whether exogenous attentional cues would lead to a disproportional enhancement in throughput in gamers as compared to nongamers. Interestingly, exogenous cues were found to enhance throughput equivalently between gamers and nongamers, suggesting that not all mechanisms known to enhance throughput are similarly enhanced in action videogamers.

  • Attention
  • Visual search
  • Cognitive and attentional control
  • Autre - National Institutes of Health Grant EY016880 and Office of Naval Research Grant N00014-07-1-0937.3
Citation (ISO format)
HUBERT-WALLANDER, Bjorn et al. Changes in search rate but not in the dynamics of exogenous attention in action videogame players. In: Attention, perception & psychophysics, 2011, vol. 73, n° 8, p. 2399–2412. doi: 10.3758/s13414-011-0194-7
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1943-3921

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