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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.


Cortical areas recruited by the FET participants relative to the HVT participants at post-training, when compared to pre-training. All axial slices are presented in radiological orientation.
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Figure 5: Cortical areas recruited by the FET participants relative to the HVT participants at post-training, when compared to pre-training. All axial slices are presented in radiological orientation.

Mentions: While the above discussed ROI analysis represented a focused examination of the effects of training strategy on the recruitment of cortical areas that showed a reduction in the contrast of Control > Training, we also conducted a whole-brain analysis comparing the two strategies to examine cortical and sub-cortical structures that were differentially recruited by the two groups at post-assessment. We found greater recruitment of the bilateral primary motor cortices, somatosensory cortices, supplementary motor area, and the posteromedial cortex, including the precuneus, and the retrosplenial cortex (see Figure 5 and Table 4) in FET participants post-training, relative to the HVT participants. The contrast of HVT > FET did not result in any significant clusters of activation.


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)

Cortical areas recruited by the FET participants relative to the HVT participants at post-training, when compared to pre-training. All axial slices are presented in radiological orientation.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 5: Cortical areas recruited by the FET participants relative to the HVT participants at post-training, when compared to pre-training. All axial slices are presented in radiological orientation.
Mentions: While the above discussed ROI analysis represented a focused examination of the effects of training strategy on the recruitment of cortical areas that showed a reduction in the contrast of Control > Training, we also conducted a whole-brain analysis comparing the two strategies to examine cortical and sub-cortical structures that were differentially recruited by the two groups at post-assessment. We found greater recruitment of the bilateral primary motor cortices, somatosensory cortices, supplementary motor area, and the posteromedial cortex, including the precuneus, and the retrosplenial cortex (see Figure 5 and Table 4) in FET participants post-training, relative to the HVT participants. The contrast of HVT > FET did not result in any significant clusters of activation.

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.