The study authors measured visual selective attention with a test involving squares that flashed on different parts of a computer screen.
First, participants were briefly shown a square in the center of the screen, which was followed by a square flashing elsewhere on the screen. The participants had to then tell the scientists where on the screen the second square was, relative to the first square.
The participants’ brain activity was also monitored during the visual selective attention test using an electroencephalogram (EEG) machine.
Before playing the video game, the expert participants were found to have stronger visual selective attention than the non-experts, and their EEG results showed more attention-related brain activity.
After playing League of Legends for 1 hour, both groups demonstrated improved visual selective attention, even reporting similar scores in the post-game test.
Not only that, but the researchers found that the brain activity of the non-experts increased after playing the game, to the extent that levels of brain activity between experts and non-experts were now comparable.
Although the findings demonstrate a measurable increase in both brain activity and visual selective attention scores in participants after playing a video game for 1 hour, the authors explain that their findings do not tell us about how long these effects might last. They therefore suggest that more studies are needed in this regard.
It is worth noting, as well, that this study was conducted in a very small group of participants — just 29 men — so its results should be interpreted with caution.
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