The study, published online this week in the latest issue of the professional journal Psychophysiology, also supports research published within the last year establishing a positive association between being addicted to playing video games and having Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
"Our thinking right now is the sort of real world effect that you might be seeing is that these are individuals who would really have difficulty trying to maintain their attention independently over time," said Rob West, one of the study's authors, an associate professor of psychology and director of the cognitive psychology program at Iowa State. "So if they're engaged in some activity that doesn't really capture their attention -- like maybe a classroom lecture, or studying in a quiet space -- they're going to have difficulty maintaining attention on their own."
ISU psychology graduate student Kira Bailey led the study. The authors also included Distinguished Professor of Psychology Craig Anderson, director of Iowa State's Center for the Study of Violence, who was recently chosen as one of the three 2010 American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientist Lecturers.
In the study, data was collected from 51 Iowa State undergraduate men (ages 18 to 33) who were nearly evenly divided between those who reported playing less than a couple of hours of video games per week, and those who played video games an average of 43 hours per week.
"We were not actually measuring the most extreme ends," West said. "There were people who we were unable to recruit and have data for who have higher rates than 43 hours per week. So this is probably on the high end, but it's certainly not the highest. You get some undergrads self-reporting that they're playing 9 or 10 hours a day."
Electrical activity in each subject's brain was recorded through EEG's from their scalp while they were engaged in the computer Stroop Task -- a standard measure used to determine attention. In the task, individuals identified the color of a word when the color and word matched, or did not match. It takes longer to indicate the color when the word does not match.
The study found that reactive attention control -- described as happening "just in time" -- was similar in the two groups of gamers. But brain wave and behavioral measures of proactive attention were significantly diminished in the frequent video game players.
"It's not clear what the effects would be if we tested people who were playing 10 or 20 hours a week," West said. "So we don't know if it's a graded effect or threshold effect -- like maybe 10's OK, but 20's not. We don't have those kinds of data yet.
"As you can imagine, this study could have implications for classroom and work performance for those people who play a lot of video games," he added.
West says that the results of this study contrast with research published over the last six years that has found beneficial effects of action video game play on some aspect of visual processing. High volume gamers' reactions to stimuli that appear very quickly had been found to be enhanced by playing action video games in those studies.The researchers are collecting data for another study that extends on this research and explores working memory in video game players -- keeping information in mind for 10 or 20 seconds.
They're also exploring whether non-gamers produce the same attention results as those found in frequent players when they're asked to play action video games for approximately 10 to 20 hours over several sessions.
Mike Ferlazzo | EurekAlert!
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Life Sciences
17.10.2017 | Life Sciences
17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences