Reduced attentional capture in action video game players

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


External organisations

  • University of British Columbia
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


Recent studies indicate that playing action video games improves performance on a number of attention-based tasks. However, it remains unclear whether action video game experience primarily affects endogenous or exogenous forms of spatial orienting. To examine this issue, action video game players and non-action video game players performed an attentional capture task. The results show that action video game players responded quicker than non-action video game players, both when a target appeared in isolation and when a salient, task-irrelevant distractor was present in the display. Action video game players additionally showed a smaller capture effect than did non-action video game players. When coupled with the findings of previous studies, the collective evidence indicates that extensive experience with action video games may enhance players' top-down attentional control, which, in turn, can modulate the negative effects of bottom-up attentional capture.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-671
Number of pages5
JournalAttention, Perception, and Psychophysics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010