Learning and transfer: Lessons from action video games

Summary

Date: 
May 23, 2017 - 12:00pm
Location: 
Northwest Building, Room 243
About the Speaker
Name: 
Daphne Bavalier
Speaker Affiliation: 
University of Geneva

Action video game players outperform their non-action-game playing peers on various sensory, attentional and cognitive
tasks.  A training regimen whose benefits are so broad is rather
unprecedented and provides a unique opportunity to identify factors that
underlie generalization of learning and principles of brain plasticity. We
propose that a common mechanism is at the source of this wide range of skill
improvement. In particular, improvement in performance following action video
game play results from greater learning to learn abilities. We will see that
behavioral and neural markers of attentional control are enhanced in gamers,
allowing them to better focus on the task at hand and ignore distractors or
sources of noise. Such focus on task-relevant statistics appears to allow for
not only more informed decision making but also faster learning and greater
transfer. Practical applications from education to rehabilitation will be
discussed.