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Examining neural correlates of skill acquisition in a complex videogame training program.

Prakash RS, De Leon AA, Mourany L, Lee H, Voss MW, Boot WR, Basak C, Fabiani M, Gratton G, Kramer AF - Front Hum Neurosci (2012)

Bottom Line: The HVT group demonstrated enhanced benefits of training, as indexed by an improvement in overall game score and a reduction in cortical recruitment post-training.Specifically, while both groups demonstrated a significant reduction of activation in attentional control areas, namely the right middle frontal gyrus, right superior frontal gyrus, and the ventral medial prefrontal cortex, participants in the control group continued to engage these areas post-training, suggesting a sustained reliance on attentional regions during challenging task demands.The HVT group showed a further reduction in neural resources post-training compared to the FET group in these cognitive control regions, along with reduced activation in the motor and sensory cortices and the posteromedial cortex.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.

ABSTRACT
Acquisition of complex skills is a universal feature of human behavior that has been conceptualized as a process that starts with intense resource dependency, requires effortful cognitive control, and ends in relative automaticity on the multi-faceted task. The present study examined the effects of different theoretically based training strategies on cortical recruitment during acquisition of complex video game skills. Seventy-five participants were recruited and assigned to one of three training groups: (1) Fixed Emphasis Training (FET), in which participants practiced the game, (2) Hybrid Variable-Priority Training (HVT), in which participants practiced using a combination of part-task training and variable priority training, or (3) a Control group that received limited game play. After 30 h of training, game data indicated a significant advantage for the two training groups relative to the control group. The HVT group demonstrated enhanced benefits of training, as indexed by an improvement in overall game score and a reduction in cortical recruitment post-training. Specifically, while both groups demonstrated a significant reduction of activation in attentional control areas, namely the right middle frontal gyrus, right superior frontal gyrus, and the ventral medial prefrontal cortex, participants in the control group continued to engage these areas post-training, suggesting a sustained reliance on attentional regions during challenging task demands. The HVT group showed a further reduction in neural resources post-training compared to the FET group in these cognitive control regions, along with reduced activation in the motor and sensory cortices and the posteromedial cortex. Findings suggest that training, specifically one that emphasizes cognitive flexibility can reduce the attentional demands of a complex cognitive task, along with reduced reliance on the motor network.

No MeSH data available.


Schematic representation of Space Fortress (A), along with a graphical description of the SF MRI task design with blocks of active play and passive viewing interspersed with fixation periods (B).
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Figure 1: Schematic representation of Space Fortress (A), along with a graphical description of the SF MRI task design with blocks of active play and passive viewing interspersed with fixation periods (B).

Mentions: The SF videogame was originally developed in a cognitive psychophysiology laboratory (Mané and Donchin, 1989) to provide a platform for the study of complex skill acquisition in an environment that was visually engaging, and modeled the complexities and multi-dimensionality of real-life tasks. As such, the SF game taps into perceptual, motor, executive and attentional skills, and thus lends itself as an ideal stage for the training of these various cognitive abilities, either through repeated practice on the whole game or training on different components to master the varied cognitive operations involved. This particular videogame has been used extensively in research studies (see Fabiani et al., 1989; Gopher et al., 1989; Mané and Donchin, 1989; Rabbitt et al., 1989; Boot et al., 2010; Maclin et al., 2011; Voss et al., 2011; Lee et al., 2012), and thus here we briefly discuss the game and outline the main components. A depiction of the SF game screen is presented in Figure 1A.


Examining neural correlates of skill acquisition in a complex videogame training program.

Prakash RS, De Leon AA, Mourany L, Lee H, Voss MW, Boot WR, Basak C, Fabiani M, Gratton G, Kramer AF - Front Hum Neurosci (2012)

Schematic representation of Space Fortress (A), along with a graphical description of the SF MRI task design with blocks of active play and passive viewing interspersed with fixation periods (B).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3351675&req=5

Figure 1: Schematic representation of Space Fortress (A), along with a graphical description of the SF MRI task design with blocks of active play and passive viewing interspersed with fixation periods (B).
Mentions: The SF videogame was originally developed in a cognitive psychophysiology laboratory (Mané and Donchin, 1989) to provide a platform for the study of complex skill acquisition in an environment that was visually engaging, and modeled the complexities and multi-dimensionality of real-life tasks. As such, the SF game taps into perceptual, motor, executive and attentional skills, and thus lends itself as an ideal stage for the training of these various cognitive abilities, either through repeated practice on the whole game or training on different components to master the varied cognitive operations involved. This particular videogame has been used extensively in research studies (see Fabiani et al., 1989; Gopher et al., 1989; Mané and Donchin, 1989; Rabbitt et al., 1989; Boot et al., 2010; Maclin et al., 2011; Voss et al., 2011; Lee et al., 2012), and thus here we briefly discuss the game and outline the main components. A depiction of the SF game screen is presented in Figure 1A.

Bottom Line: The HVT group demonstrated enhanced benefits of training, as indexed by an improvement in overall game score and a reduction in cortical recruitment post-training.Specifically, while both groups demonstrated a significant reduction of activation in attentional control areas, namely the right middle frontal gyrus, right superior frontal gyrus, and the ventral medial prefrontal cortex, participants in the control group continued to engage these areas post-training, suggesting a sustained reliance on attentional regions during challenging task demands.The HVT group showed a further reduction in neural resources post-training compared to the FET group in these cognitive control regions, along with reduced activation in the motor and sensory cortices and the posteromedial cortex.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.

ABSTRACT
Acquisition of complex skills is a universal feature of human behavior that has been conceptualized as a process that starts with intense resource dependency, requires effortful cognitive control, and ends in relative automaticity on the multi-faceted task. The present study examined the effects of different theoretically based training strategies on cortical recruitment during acquisition of complex video game skills. Seventy-five participants were recruited and assigned to one of three training groups: (1) Fixed Emphasis Training (FET), in which participants practiced the game, (2) Hybrid Variable-Priority Training (HVT), in which participants practiced using a combination of part-task training and variable priority training, or (3) a Control group that received limited game play. After 30 h of training, game data indicated a significant advantage for the two training groups relative to the control group. The HVT group demonstrated enhanced benefits of training, as indexed by an improvement in overall game score and a reduction in cortical recruitment post-training. Specifically, while both groups demonstrated a significant reduction of activation in attentional control areas, namely the right middle frontal gyrus, right superior frontal gyrus, and the ventral medial prefrontal cortex, participants in the control group continued to engage these areas post-training, suggesting a sustained reliance on attentional regions during challenging task demands. The HVT group showed a further reduction in neural resources post-training compared to the FET group in these cognitive control regions, along with reduced activation in the motor and sensory cortices and the posteromedial cortex. Findings suggest that training, specifically one that emphasizes cognitive flexibility can reduce the attentional demands of a complex cognitive task, along with reduced reliance on the motor network.

No MeSH data available.