Walter Boot, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Florida State


Walter Boot, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Florida State

Sage 4101

October 22, 2014 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

The potential link between video game play and enhanced cognitive abilities has garnered substantial interest and generated a great deal of research over the past decade.  The possibility that video game training transfers broadly to other aspects of cognition is exciting because the majority of training studies suggest that learning one skill rarely improves others. Unfortunately, existing studies of the effects of video games on cognition suffer from severe methodological flaws that weaken the conclusion that video games enhance cognition.  In this talk I will discuss these methodological pitfalls, identify how existing studies succeed or fail in addressing these problems, and provide empirical evidence that demand characteristics and placebo effects can plausibly explain most previous findings linking game play to superior attention and visual processing abilities.  I conclude by outlining a set of guidelines to allow future studies to make more definitive claims regarding the effect of game play on cognition, and discuss implications for the study of “brain fitness” software packages and other interventions intended to improve mental health, cognition, and educational achievement.




Download paper here.

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