Visual short-term memory for coherent motion in video game players: evidence from a memory-masking paradigm

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Andrea Pavan, Martine Hobaek, Steven Blurton, Adriano Contillo, Filippo Ghin, Mark W. Greenlee

In this study, we investigated visual short-term memory for coherent motion in action video game players (AVGPs), non-action video game players (NAVGPs), and non-gamers (control group: CONs). Participants performed a visual memory-masking paradigm previously used with macaque monkeys and humans. In particular, we tested whether video game players form a more robust visual short-term memory trace for coherent moving stimuli during the encoding phase, and whether such memory traces are less affected by an intervening masking stimulus presented 0.2 s after the offset of the to-be-remembered sample. The results showed that task performance of all groups was affected by the masking stimulus, but video game players were affected to a lesser extent than controls. Modelling of performance values and reaction times revealed that video game players have a lower guessing rate than CONs, and higher drift rates than CONs, indicative of more efficient perceptual decisions. These results suggest that video game players exhibit a more robust VSTM trace for moving objects and this trace is less prone to external interference.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6027
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

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