Influence of action video gaming on spatial representation in the haptic modality

Hanneke I. Van Mier*, Hui Jiao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Spatial representation in the haptic domain has been shown to be prone to systematic errors. When participants are asked to make two bars haptically parallel, their performance deviates from what would be veridically parallel. This is hypothesized to be caused by the bias of the egocentric reference frame. Stimulating the use of an allocentric reference frame has previously been shown to improve performance in haptic parallelity matching. The aim of the current study was to investigate the influence of action video game experience on parallelity performance. We hypothesized that participants who extensively play action video games with a so-called 'bird's-eye view' are likely to process spatial information more allocentrically, resulting in better performance in haptic parallelity matching. This was tested in two groups of male participants, 10 participants with extensive action video gaming experience (AVGPs) and 10 participants without or hardly any action video gaming experience (NAVGPs). Additionally, the effect of visual-haptic practice on haptic parallelity performance was tested. In the haptic blocks, blindfolded participants had to feel the orientation of a reference bar with their non-dominant hand and had to match this orientation on a test bar with their dominant hand. In subsequent visual-haptic blocks, they had full view of the set-up and visually paralleled both bars. As hypothesized, AVGPs performed significantly better in haptic blocks than NAVGPs. Visual-haptic practice resulted in significantly better performance in subsequent haptic blocks in both groups. These results suggest that playing action video games might enhance haptic spatial representation, although a causative relationship still needs to be established.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2769-2781
Number of pages13
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume238
Issue number12
Early online date29 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Action video gaming
  • Egocentric
  • Allocentric
  • Haptic parallelity
  • Haptic-visual training
  • LARGE SYSTEMATIC DEVIATIONS
  • GAME EXPERIENCE
  • GENDER-DIFFERENCES
  • BRAIN PLASTICITY
  • WORKING-MEMORY
  • ATTENTION
  • PARALLELITY
  • PERCEPTION
  • SPACE
  • TASK

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