Perspective ARTICLE

Front. Psychol., 12 September 2011 | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00226

Do action video games improve perception and cognition?

Walter R. Boot1*, Daniel P. Blakely1 and Daniel J. Simons2
  • 1 Department of Psychology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA
  • 2 Department of Psychology, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA

Frequent action video game players often outperform non-gamers on measures of perception and cognition, and some studies find that video game practice enhances those abilities. The possibility that video game training transfers broadly to other aspects of cognition is exciting because training on one task rarely improves performance on others. At first glance, the cumulative evidence suggests a strong relationship between gaming experience and other cognitive abilities, but methodological shortcomings call that conclusion into question. We discuss these pitfalls, identify how existing studies succeed or fail in overcoming them, and provide guidelines for more definitive tests of the effects of gaming on cognition.

Keywords: video games, cognitive training, transfer of training, perceptual learning

Citation: Boot WR, Blakely DP and Simons DJ (2011) Do action video games improve perception and cognition? Front. Psychology 2:226. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00226

Received: 31 March 2011; Accepted: 24 August 2011;
Published online: 13 September 2011.

Edited by:

Mattie Tops, University of Groningen, Netherlands

Reviewed by:

Mattie Tops, University of Groningen, Netherlands
Sarah E. Donohue, Duke University, USA

Copyright: © 2011 Boot, Blakely and Simons. This is an open-access article subject to a non-exclusive license between the authors and Frontiers Media SA, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and other Frontiers conditions are complied with.

*Correspondence: Walter R. Boot, Department of Psychology, Florida State University, 1107 W. Call Street, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4301, USA. e-mail: boot@psy.fsu.edu

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