The development of attention skills in action video game players

M. W.G. Dye, C. S. Green, D. Bavelier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research suggests that action video game play improves attentional resources, allowing gamers to better allocate their attention across both space and time. In order to further characterize the plastic changes resulting from playing these video games, we administered the Attentional Network Test (ANT) to action game players and non-playing controls aged between 7 and 22 years. By employing a mixture of cues and flankers, the ANT provides measures of how well attention is allocated to targets as a function of alerting and orienting cues, and to what extent observers are able to filter out the influence of task irrelevant information flanking those targets. The data suggest that action video game players of all ages have enhanced attentional skills that allow them to make faster correct responses to targets, and leaves additional processing resources that spill over to process distractors flanking the targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1780-1789
Number of pages10
Issue number8-9
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention
  • Attentional Network Test
  • Children
  • Video games

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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