Action video game playing is associated with improved visual sensitivity, but not alterations in visual sensory memory.
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Action video game playing has been experimentally linked to a number of perceptual and cognitive improvements. These benefits are captured through a wide range of psychometric tasks and have led to the proposition that action video game experience may promote the ability to extract statistical evidence from sensory stimuli. Such an advantage could arise from a number of possible mechanisms: improvements in visual sensitivity, enhancements in the capacity or duration for which information is retained in visual memory, or higher-level strategic use of information for decision making. The present study measured the capacity and time course of visual sensory memory using a partial report performance task as a means to distinguish between these three possible mechanisms. Sensitivity measures and parameter estimates that describe sensory memory capacity and the rate of memory decay were compared between individuals who reported high evels and low levels of action video game experience. Our results revealed a uniform increase in partial report accuracy at all stimulus-to-cue delays for action video game players but no difference in the rate or time course of the memory decay. The present findings suggest that action video game playing may be related to enhancements in the initial sensitivity to visual stimuli, but not to a greater retention of information in iconic memory buffers.
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Published Version (Please cite this version)10.3758/s13414-013-0472-7
Publication InfoAppelbaum, Lawrence Gregory; Cain, Matthew; Darling, Elise F; & Mitroff, Stephen (2013). Action video game playing is associated with improved visual sensitivity, but not alterations in visual sensory memory. Atten Percept Psychophys, 75(6). pp. 1161-1167. 10.3758/s13414-013-0472-7. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10161/13525.
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Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Greg Appelbaum is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the Duke University School of Medicine. He is a member of the Brain Stimulation Division of Psychiatry, where he directs the Human Performance Optimization lab (Opti Lab) and the Brain Stimulation Research Center As a member
Associate Research Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
NOTE: As of 8/1/2015 Dr. Mitroff and his lab will move to The George Washington University in Washington D.C. Lab focus: My lab has an active interest in visual search—how we find targets amongst distractors. With a dual goal of informing both academic theory and applied "real-world" performance, we explore various influences on search. We work with a variety of expert groups to understand the effects of experience and expertise, and to reveal individual differences in performa
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