Video game players have been shown to significantly out-perform non-video game players on a wide range of cognitive tasks. Exposure to specific genres of video games may also have a significant bearing in impacting certain task-specific domains of cognition. However, there is limited availability of scientific literature exploring the role of mobile game sub-genres on the cognitive abilities of an individual. The present study was therefore conducted to assess and compare the impact of playing either endless running video games (ERGs) or match three video games (MTGs) on behavioral and neuro-electrical correlates of cognitive performance in young adults, by using reaction time (RT) and P300, respectively. The ERG group included 45 male:female (M:F) ratio = 38:7 and the MTG group included 39 (M:F = 21:18) subjects who played ≥5 h/week of each respective video game genre in past 6 months. The ERG group had better behavioral performance in comparison to the MTG group, as indexed by their significantly faster visual reaction time (VRT). The ERG subjects also had significantly lower P300 amplitudes as compared to MTG subjects. However, no difference in either auditory reaction time (ART) or P300 latency could be ascertained between the two groups. These results suggest that not only were ERG players able to make faster decisions and performed better in visuo-motor tasks but, also had better optimization of neural resources in them as compared to the MTG players. The current data supports the notion that not only exposure to video games but also the nature (i.e. genre) of mobile game play determines the extent to which neural processes concerned with attentional orientation, information processing and cognitive control are influenced.
The authors would like to express their sincere thanks to their students without whose participation and cooperation, this study would not have been impossible.
Conflict of interest: None.
Author contributions: Sekhar Jiwal: conceptualized the study, designed the task, data analysis and final drafting of the article; Preeti Jain: supervised the study, conceptualized the study, designed the task, analysis and interpretation of the data and final drafting of the article; Ajay Kumar Jain: co-supervised the study, conceptualized the study, designed the task, analysis and interpretation of the data and final drafting of the article.
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