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Neurocognitive research finds gamers are better at timing their reactions than non-gamers

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A study in a virtual reality environment found that action video game players have better implicit temporal skills than non-gamers.They are great at timing reactions in tasks that require quick reactions, and do so automatically without conscious effort. communication biology.

Many research studies show that playing video games improves cognition. These include increased ability to learn on the fly and improved attentional control. The extent of these improvements is unknown and also depends on gameplay.

The success of action video games depends on the skill of the player in making precise responses at the right time. Players benefit from practice to improve their time-related expectations for in-game development, even if they are not conscious of it. This mostly unconscious process of processing time and preparing to respond in a timely manner based on expectations of how the situation in which the person is placed is called incidental temporal processing.

It contrasts with explicit temporal processing, in which a person consciously strives to prepare to act in a timely manner. Implicit temporal processing has attracted researchers’ interest because it is precisely the mechanism that appears to be impaired in patients with schizophrenia and other important psychiatric disorders. Can video games be used as a rehabilitation tool for these disorders?

“Playing video games is one of the most prevalent recreational activities across generations worldwide,” said the study authors. François R. Förster, a cognitive neuroscientist at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience Research at the Free University of Brussels. “Like other everyday activities, playing video games has likely shaped how we perceive and think about the world for decades. Understanding its impact seems like an important social quest that could lead to the development of interesting treatments.”

To investigate whether video games really improve potential temporal processing, Foerster and his team conducted a study that monitored brain responses and electrical activity in a group of gamers and a group of non-gamers in a virtual reality environment. devised. The study included 23 gamers (average age 25 years, 4 females) (defined as those who played action video games for at least 5 hours per week in the past year) and those who had played action video games little or never in the past. Another 23 participants who did not were included. years (average age 27 years, 7 females).

Each participant was seated in a chair and immersed in a virtual reality environment consisting of an empty room facing four robots. Each robot had a light (target) that was manipulated for color and onset.

“In our task, targets occur with varying delays after the initial warning signal. ).A warning signal and a target were embedded in the robot, creating a more entertaining environment that more closely resembled a video game than traditional computer-based tasks.Participants were asked to target by pressing a button as quickly as possible. responded to,” the author explained.

Instances where participants pressed the response button before the stimulus was presented were recorded and used as a measure of impulsivity. Eye-tracing software was used to monitor the participants’ binocular gaze during the experiment, and researchers also continuously monitored electroencephalographic activity (EEG) in the brain.

Contrary to popular belief that video gamers are impulsive, our analysis of premature reactions (reacting before a light/target is presented) showed no evidence to support this. There was no difference in the number of early reactions between gamers and non-gamers. Researchers found that compared to non-gamers, gamers had an improved ability to respond when they had a longer precycle.

“In our daily lives, we are constantly interacting with our environment on time,” Forster told PsyPost. “This is because our brains predict. when, the places and things we try to perceive act at best. This study shows that people who play action video games are more predictive. when They should expect to see something special. ”

“The most surprising thing was that the action video game players’ eye movement reflexes occurred faster than the non-video game players,” he added. “This oculomotor reflex reflects gaze stability and is completely automatic and unconscious.”

This study sheds important light on specific neurocognitive skills acquired through video games. However, the study authors note that the design of this study does not allow strong causal inferences about the effects of gameplay on temporal cognition. In particular, future studies should also consider the possible influence of previous experience of virtual reality on the results.

“It’s essential to know how playing video games leads to temporary heightened expectations,” Forster said. “Are there specific games that induce this reinforcement? How long do I have to play to produce?These questions are very important because game-based interventions have the potential to help patients with temporary disorders found in multiple psychiatric populations. “

the study, “Neurocognitive analysis reveals that video game players exhibit enhanced implicit temporal processingWritten by François R. Foerster, Matthew Chidalom, Anne Bonnephon, and Anne Giersch.

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