Advertisement

Using Variable Priority Training to Examine Video Game-Related Gains in Cognition

  • Shenghao Zhang
  • William C. M. Grenhart
  • John F. Sprufera
  • Anne Collins McLaughlin
  • Jason C. AllaireEmail author
Original Research
  • 35 Downloads

Abstract

The current study aimed at identifying mechanisms associated with video game-related gains in cognitive functioning. Seventy-nine older adults (mean age = 72.72, SD = 7.16) participated in a pretest-posttest intervention study. A video game that required four cognitive abilities was developed. The game had two modes: (1) variable priority training (VPT) and (2) single priority training (SPT). After a pretest session, participants completed a battery of cognitive tasks and were randomly assigned to either the VPT (n = 42) or the SPT mode (n = 37) for an average of 15.94 (SD = 2.15) 1-h game play sessions. Posttesting was administered within 1 week after completion of training. Time (pretest/posttest) by game mode (VPT/SPT) interactions was examined using multivariate repeated measure ANOVAs. No significant multivariate training effects were observed. Results suggest that VPT may not be the underlying mechanism responsible for video game-related gains in cognition. Our results also cast doubts on whether playing video games could lead to cognitive enhancements in older adults.

Keywords

Cognitive control Intervention Everyday cognition 

Notes

Funding Information

This research was supported by grant R21 AG044782-01A1 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded to Jason C. Allaire.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Allaire, J. C., & Gamlado, A. A. (2017). Everyday cognition. Encyclopedia of Geropsychology, 837–843.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-082-7_252.
  2. Allaire, J. C., & Marsiske, M. (1999). Everyday cognition: age and intellectual ability correlates. Psychology and Aging, 14(4), 627–644.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0882-7974.14.4.627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anguera, J. A., Boccanfuso, J., Rintoul, J. L., Al-Hashimi, O., Faraji, F., Janowich, J., et al. (2013). Video game training enhances cognitive control in older adults. Nature, 501(7465), 97–101.  https://doi.org/10.1038/nature12486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ball, K., Berch, D. B., Helmers, K. F., Jobe, J. B., Leveck, M. D., Marsiske, M., et al. (2002). Effects of cognitive training interventions with older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Jama, 288(18), 2271–2281.  https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.288.18.2271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ball, K., Edwards, J. D., Ross, L. A., & McGwin, G., Jr. (2010). Cognitive training decreases motor vehicle collision involvement of older drivers. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 58(11), 2107–2113.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.03138.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Basak, C., Boot, W. R., Voss, M. W., & Kramer, A. F. (2008). Can training in a real-time strategy video game attenuate cognitive decline in older adults? Psychology and Aging, 23(4), 765–777.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0013494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bier, B., de Boysson, C., & Belleville, S. (2014). Identifying training modalities to improve multitasking in older adults. Age, 36, 9688.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11357-014-9688-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bier, B., Ouellet, É., & Belleville, S. (2018). Computerized attentional training and transfer with virtual reality: effect of age and training type. Neuropsychology, 32(5), 597–614.  https://doi.org/10.1037/neu0000417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Binder, J. C., Martin, M., Zöllig, J., Röcke, C., Mérillat, S., Eschen, A., et al. (2016). Multi-domain training enhances attentional control. Psychology and Aging, 31(4), 390–408.  https://doi.org/10.1037/pag0000081.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Boot, W. R., Basak, C., Erickson, K. I., Neider, M., Simons, D. J., Fabiani, M., et al. (2010). Transfer of skill engendered by complex task training under conditions of variable priority. Acta Psychologica, 135(3), 349–357.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2010.09.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Boot, W. R., Champion, M., Blakely, D. P., Wright, T., Souders, D., & Charness, N. (2013a). Video games as a means to reduce age-related cognitive decline: attitudes, compliance, and effectiveness. Frontiers in Psychology, 4, 31.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00031.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Boot, W. R., Simons, D. J., Stothart, C., & Stutts, C. (2013b). The pervasive problem with placebos in psychology: why active control groups are not sufficient to rule out placebo effects. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 8(4), 445–454.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691613491271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Edwards, J. D., Vance, D. E., Wadley, V. G., Cissell, G. M., Roenker, D. L., & Ball, K. K. (2005). Reliability and validity of useful field of view test scores as administered by personal computer. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 27(5), 529–543.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13803390490515432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ekstrom, R. B., French, J. W., Harman, H. H., & Dermen, D. (1976). Manual for kit of factor referenced cognitive tests (pp. 109–113). Princeton: Educational Testing Service.Google Scholar
  15. Gopher, D., Weil, M., & Bareket, T. (1994). Transfer of skill from a computer game trainer to flight. Human Factors, 36(3), 387–405.  https://doi.org/10.1177/001872089403600301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Green, C. S., Bavelier, D., Kramer, A. F., Vinogradov, S., Ansorge, U., Ball, K. K., et al. (2019). Improving methodological standards in behavioral interventions for cognitive enhancement. Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, 3(1), 2–29.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s41465-018-0115-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kramer, A. F., Larish, J. F., & Strayer, D. L. (1995). Training for attentional control in dual task settings: a comparison of young and old adults. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 1(1), 50–76.  https://doi.org/10.1037/1076-898X.1.1.50.Google Scholar
  18. Lee, H., Boot, W. R., Basak, C., Voss, M. W., Prakash, R. S., Neider, M., et al. (2012). Performance gains from directed training do not transfer to untrained tasks. Acta Psychologica, 139(1), 146–158.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2011.11.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lussier, M., Gagnon, C., & Bherer, L. (2012). An investigation of response and stimulus modality transfer effects after dual-task training in younger and older. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6, 129.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2012.00129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lussier, M., Bugaiska, A., & Bherer, L. (2016). Specific transfer effects following variable priority dual-task training in older adults. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, 35, 237–250.  https://doi.org/10.3233/RNN-150581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Melby-Lervåg, M., Redick, T. S., & Hulme, C. (2016). Working memory training does not improve performance on measures of intelligence or other measures of “far transfer” evidence from a meta-analytic review. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11(4), 512–534.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691616635612.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Naveh-Benjamin, M. (2000). Adult age differences in memory performance: tests of an associative deficit hypothesis. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 26, 1170–1187.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0278-7393.26.5.1170.Google Scholar
  23. Nikolaidis, A., Voss, M. W., Lee, H., Vo, L. K., & Kramer, A. F. (2014). Parietal plasticity after training with a complex video game is associated with individual differences in improvements in an untrained working memory task. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 169.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rebok, G. W., Ball, K., Guey, L. T., Jones, R. N., Kim, H. Y., King, J. W., et al. (2014). Ten-year effects of the advanced cognitive training for independent and vital elderly cognitive training trial on cognition and everyday functioning in older adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 62(1), 16–24.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.12607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rogers, R. D., & Monsell, S. (1995). Costs of a predictable switch between simple cognitive tasks. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 124(2), 207–231.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0096-3445.124.2.207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sala, G., & Gobet, F. (2019). Cognitive training does not enhance general cognition. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 23(1), 9–20.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2018.10.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sala, G., Tatlidil, K. S., & Gobet, F. (2018). Video game training does not enhance cognitive ability: a comprehensive meta-analytic investigation. Psychological Bulletin, 144(2), 111.  https://doi.org/10.1037/bul0000139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Salthouse, T. A., Mitchell, D. R., Skovronek, E., & Babcock, R. L. (1989). Effects of adult age and working memory on reasoning and spatial abilities. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 15(3), 507–516.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0278-7393.15.3.507.Google Scholar
  29. Simons, D. J., Boot, W. R., Charness, N., Gathercole, S. E., Chabris, C. F., Hambrick, D. Z., & Stine-Morrow, E. A. (2016). Do “brain-training” programs work? Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 17(3), 103–186.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1529100616661983.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Stern, Y., Blumen, H. M., Rich, L. W., Richards, A., Herzberg, G., & Gopher, D. (2011). Space fortress game training and executive control in older adults: a pilot intervention. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 18(6), 653–677.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13825585.2011.613450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Thurstone, T. G., & Thurstone, L. L. (1962). Primary mental abilities tests. Science Research Associates.Google Scholar
  32. Toril, P., Reales, J. M., & Ballesteros, S. (2014). Video game training enhances cognition of older adults: a meta-analytic study. Psychology and Aging, 29(3), 706.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0037507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Von Ah, D., Carpenter, J. S., Saykin, A., Monahan, P., Wu, J., Yu, M., et al. (2012). Advanced cognitive training for breast cancer survivors: a randomized controlled trial. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 135(3), 799–809.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10549-012-2210-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wang, P., Liu, H. H., Zhu, X. T., Meng, T., Li, H. J., & Zuo, X. N. (2016). Action video game training for healthy adults: a meta-analytic study. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 907.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00907.Google Scholar
  35. Whitlock, L. A., McLaughlin, A. C., & Allaire, J. C. (2012). Individual differences in response to cognitive training: using a multi-modal, attentionally demanding game-based intervention for older adults. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(4), 1091–1096.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2012.01.012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Willis, S. L., Tennstedt, S. L., Marsiske, M., Ball, K., Elias, J., Koepke, K. M., et al. (2006). Long-term effects of cognitive training on everyday functional outcomes in older adults. JAMA, 296(23), 2805–2814.  https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.296.23.2805.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Zendel, B. R., de Boysson, C., Mellah, S., Démonet, J.-F., & Belleville, S. (2016). The impact of attentional training on event-related potentials in older adults. Neurobiology of Aging, 47, 10–22.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2016.06.023.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.Epic Games IncCaryUSA

Personalised recommendations