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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.


Change in percent signal change from pre- to post-training in the cortical areas found in the contrast of Control > Training for all three groups.
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Figure 4: Change in percent signal change from pre- to post-training in the cortical areas found in the contrast of Control > Training for all three groups.

Mentions: The above identified functional ROIs from the contrast of Control > Training were also examined for differences as a function of training strategy. As seen in Figure 4, the FET group showed greater increase in activation than the HVT group at Time 2 relative to Time 1 for all ROIs; however, significant increases in activation were noted for the right MFG and right SFG (p < 0.05) in comparison to HVT after training. This finding suggests that individuals in the FET group required continued activation of the prefrontal cortices in order to meet the demands of the SF game, whereas individuals in the HVT group showed reduced recruitment of these prefrontal regions as a function of the training strategy.


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)

Change in percent signal change from pre- to post-training in the cortical areas found in the contrast of Control > Training for all three groups.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 4: Change in percent signal change from pre- to post-training in the cortical areas found in the contrast of Control > Training for all three groups.
Mentions: The above identified functional ROIs from the contrast of Control > Training were also examined for differences as a function of training strategy. As seen in Figure 4, the FET group showed greater increase in activation than the HVT group at Time 2 relative to Time 1 for all ROIs; however, significant increases in activation were noted for the right MFG and right SFG (p < 0.05) in comparison to HVT after training. This finding suggests that individuals in the FET group required continued activation of the prefrontal cortices in order to meet the demands of the SF game, whereas individuals in the HVT group showed reduced recruitment of these prefrontal regions as a function of the training strategy.

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.