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CVR professor and PhD student find video game practice readies brain for challenging tasks

CVR professor and PhD student find video game practice readies brain for challenging tasks

You can read how researchers from the Centre for Vision Research at York University used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the effect of video-game experience on the neural control of increasingly complex visuomotor tasks in young men, in the October issue of Cortex, an Elsevier journal, wrote Sept. 27:

Lead author and PhD candidate Joshua Granek and colleagues concluded that the reorganization of the brain’s cortical network, which they discovered in the young men with significant video game-playing experience, gave them an advantage not only in playing video games but also in performing other complex visuomotor tasks.

The authors wrote that other studies have suggested that individuals skilled in video game-playing have a more efficient brain network for controlling movement that includes the prefrontal, premotor, primary sensorimotor and parietal cortices.

Senior investigator Lauren Sergio, a professor in York’s School of Kinesiology and Health Science in the Faculty of Health, told the press that using high-resolution brain imaging, they were able to measure which brain areas were active at given times during the experiment. And, she said, rather than just looking at brain activity, they also “tested how the skills learned from video game experience can transfer over to new tasks”.

A key result was finding that during the increasingly difficult tasks, the less experienced video game players relied mostly on the parietal cortex (the brain area typically involved in hand-eye coordination), while the brain scans of the experienced gamers showed more activity in the prefrontal cortex at the front of the brain.

The study was also covered in IndiaVision News on Sept. 27, South Africa’s on Sept. 26., Sept. 27 and on Sept. 26.

Posted by Elizabeth Monier-Williams, with files courtesy of YFile – York University’s daily e-bulletin.