Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Psychol., 21 April 2010 | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2010.00008

DOOM’d to switch: superior cognitive flexibility in players of first person shooter games

1
Cognitive Psychology Unit and Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands
2
Amsterdam Center for the Study of Adaptive Control in Brain and Behavior (Acacia), Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The interest in the influence of videogame experience on our daily life is constantly growing. “First Person Shooter” (FPS) games require players to develop a flexible mindset to rapidly react to fast moving visual and auditory stimuli, and to switch back and forth between different subtasks. This study investigated whether and to which degree experience with such videogames generalizes to other cognitive-control tasks. Video-game players (VGPs) and individuals with little to no videogame experience (NVGPs) performed on a task switching paradigm that provides a relatively well-established diagnostic measure of cognitive flexibility. As predicted, VGPs showed smaller switching costs (i.e., greater cognitive flexibility) than NVGPs. Our findings support the idea that playing FPS games promotes cognitive flexibility.
Keywords:
videogame, task-switching, cognitive flexibility
Citation:
Colzato LS, van Leeuwen PJA, van den Wildenberg WPM and Hommel B (2010). DOOM’d to switch: superior cognitive flexibility in players of first person shooter games. Front. Psychology 1:8. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2010.00008
Received:
23 February 2010;
 Paper pending published:
27 February 2010;
Accepted:
17 March 2010;
 Published online:
21 April 2010.

Edited by:

Wilfried Kunde, Dortmund University, Germany

Reviewed by:

Andrea Kiesel, Julius-Maximilians- University, Germany
Copyright:
© 2010 Colzato, van Leeuwen, van den Wildenberg and Hommel. This is an open-access article subject to an exclusive license agreement between the authors and the Frontiers Research Foundation, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are credited.
*Correspondence:
Lorenza S. Colzato, Leiden University, Department of Psychology, Cognitive Psychology Unit, Postbus 9555, 2300 RB Leiden, Netherlands.e-mail: colzato@fsw.leidenuniv.nl
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