Video game experience improves sustained and divided attention but does not affect resistance to cognitive fatigue
An increasing number of occupations involve tasks requiring sustained and divided attention skills. These tasks are often susceptible to the effects of cognitive fatigue, resulting in poorer performance and increasing the likelihood of human error. Previous research indicates that those who regularly play action video games have superior performance on cognitive tests that are related to sustained attention and divided attention performance. Few studies, however, have investigated how
... e on these tasks change as time-on-task increases. The current study compared the performance of 18 video game players (VGPs) and 24 non-video game players (NVGPs) on the NASA Multi-Attribute Task Battery (version 2; MATB-II) before and after completing a 60-minute sustained attention task. Results indicated that at the multivariate level, VGPs demonstrated superior sustained attention compared to NVGPs, however both groups experienced similar levels of cognitive fatigue with an increasing number of errors and greater reaction time variability as time-on-task increased. In addition, at the multivariate level, VGPs demonstrated superior divided attention performance compared to NVGPs, however univariate analyses revealed a more complex relationship. Further, the performance of both groups improved in the second session compared to the first, indicating a learning effect rather than a fatigue effect. Whilst the current results demonstrate VGP superiority in sustained and divided attention tasks, there was no evidence that these abilities assist with resisting the effects of cognitive fatigue.