Research: Predicting Video Game Skills Through Brain Imaging

January 14, 2011 -

New research from the University of Illinois unearths a technique that can predict "with unprecedented accuracy" how well a subject can perform on complex tasks simply by analyzing a certain part of the brain. University of Illinois Beckman Institute director Art Kramer and colleagues have developed a way to predict how well study subjects would do on a strategic video game using established brain imaging techniques.

Using magnetic resonance imaging and multivoxel pattern analysis, researchers found differences in patterns of a "particular type of MRI signal, called T2, in the basal ganglia of study subjects." Analyzing these differences enabled researchers to predict between 55 - 68 percent of the differences in performance among 34 subjects who later learned to play a game developed by the university.

"There are many, many studies, hundreds perhaps, in which psychometricians, people who do the quantitative analysis of learning, try to predict from SATs, GREs, MCATS or other tests how well you're going to succeed at something," said University of Illinois psychology professor and Beckman Institute director Art Kramer. But, he adds, never to this level of detail.

First subjects had their brains imaged, then spent 20 hours learning to play a game called Space Fortress. In the game players must destroy a fortress without losing their own ship to several different hazards and defenses. Subjects had little or no experience with video games prior to the study. The game was designed to test participants' real-world cognitive skills.

"We predict up to three times as much of the variance (in learning) as you would using performance measures," Kramer said. The researchers tested their results against other measures and replicated the findings in new trials with different study subjects.

"Our data suggest that some persistent physiological and or neuroanatomical difference is actually the predictor of learning," Kramer said.

Kramer cautions that these findings should not be interpreted to mean that some people are destined to succeed or fail at a given task or learning challenge, adding that "many of these components of brain structure and function are changeable," he said.

Source: eurekalert.org


 
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Have you visited a video game arcade in the last year?:

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james_fudgeThere aren't many left in America08/21/2014 - 1:50am
MechaTama31I sure have. Dorky's barcade in Tacoma, WA.08/20/2014 - 5:56pm
Matthew WilsonI have not been to a arcade in years. I know arcades are still big in japan.08/20/2014 - 5:38pm
Sleaker@AE - Ah no it's called GroundKontrol - I was just referring to it as a Bar-Arcade.08/20/2014 - 4:39pm
Andrew EisenStill looking for confirmation that High Moon Studios (dev behind the PS3/360 versions) isn't working on it.08/20/2014 - 4:38pm
ZenGotcha.08/20/2014 - 4:37pm
Andrew EisenI already updated the story with it!08/20/2014 - 4:36pm
Zenhttp://www.gonintendo.com/s/235574-treyarch-isn-t-working-call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-for-wii-u-either08/20/2014 - 4:36pm
ZenLet me send the link for the Tweet as well...they state Treyarch is not working on it. Grabbing it now.08/20/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenWhere does it say that "NO dev is working on it"?08/20/2014 - 4:33pm
ZenHere's the link for my last comment: http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/08/20/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-not-coming-to-wii-u08/20/2014 - 4:24pm
ZenWell, Call of Duty is skipping Wii U completely it seems...they updated that NO dev is working on it. Great way to just skip a market.08/20/2014 - 4:24pm
Andrew EisenYeah, Dave and Busters back in 2011 was the last time for me.08/20/2014 - 4:16pm
ZenWell, I tried lol. We just got a Dave and Busters on the beach but haven't been there yet...may go this weekend.08/20/2014 - 3:52pm
Andrew EisenIt's called The Bar-Arcade? Missed opportunity. I would have gone with Barcade.08/20/2014 - 3:25pm
SleakerThe Bar-Arcade however did have a lot of good pinball machines, they were however always taken as the place was packed..08/20/2014 - 1:17pm
Sleakerso I've been to an Arcade-Bar, not that great of a place has some okay machines, but generally over-packed. And then all the kid-friendly ones have is ticket-games nothing actually good unfortunately :(08/20/2014 - 1:14pm
Andrew EisenIf it has an area dedicated to arcade machines, I'd say it counts. Arcade machine in your house though, nope.08/20/2014 - 12:16pm
ZenDoes it count if you have actual arcade machines in your house?08/20/2014 - 12:01pm
E. Zachary KnightWith the current poll, I guess it all depends on how one defines "arcade". If Chuck E Cheese or similar multipurpose businesses count, then that is a yes for me.08/20/2014 - 11:59am
 

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