The virtual brain: 30 years of video-game play and cognitive abilities

  • Latham A
  • Patston L
  • Tippett L
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Forty years have passed since video-games were first made widely available to the public and subsequently playing games has become a favorite past-time for many. Players continuously engage with dynamic visual displays with success contingent on the time-pressured deployment, and flexible allocation, of attention as well as precise bimanual movements. Evidence to date suggests that both brief and extensive exposure to video-game play can result in a broad range of enhancements to various cognitive faculties that generalize beyond the original context. Despite promise, video-game research is host to a number of methodological issues that require addressing before progress can be made in this area. Here an effort is made to consolidate the past 30 years of literature examining the effects of video-game play on cognitive faculties and, more recently, neural systems. Future work is required to identify the mechanism that allows the act of video-game play to generate such a broad range of generalized enhancements.




Latham, A. J., Patston, L. L. M., & Tippett, L. J. (2013). The virtual brain: 30 years of video-game play and cognitive abilities. Frontiers in Psychology, 4.

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