Video-game training effects on attention and memory in young and older adults. Behavioral results

Ruíz Márquez, Eloísa. Video-game training effects on attention and memory in young and older adults. Behavioral results . 2019. Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (España). Escuela Internacional de Doctorado. Programa de Doctorado en Psicología de la Salud

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Título Video-game training effects on attention and memory in young and older adults. Behavioral results
Autor(es) Ruíz Márquez, Eloísa
Abstract This Thesis is organized in 7 chapters: the theoretical framework, the cognitive changes associated with normal and pathological aging and the contribution of video games programs to prevent the cognitive decline at different age stages, two publications of the interventions with video games in young and older adults, and the main conclusions of the current work. The number of publications related to the effects of video-game training has increased substantially in recent decades, from 15 papers per year during the 90s, to 350 papers in 2015 (Palaus, Marron, Viejo-Sobera, & Redolar-Ripoll, 2017). Video games have many advantages in terms of availability, engagement and cost (Joddrell & Astell, 2016; Burgers, Eden, Van Engelenburg, & Buningh, 2015) but their neurocognitive benefits are still subject to debate. Some authors found positive results derived from video game training (Cain, Landau, & Shimamura, 2012; Shawn Green & Bavelier, 2003; Mondéjar, Hervás, Johnson, Gutierrez, & Latorre, 2016), while others could not replicate them or find any benefit (Irons, Remington, & McLean, 2011; Kable et al. 2017; Murphy & Spencer, 2009). Due to this lack of consensus in the literature about the neurocognitive benefits of video-game training, many studies have pointed out the importance of using an appropriate methodological approach for these kinds of interventions. “The gold standard design” consists in a double blinded study with randomization of participants and an appropriate active control group that matches the experimental group, where placebo effects depending on motivation, engagement and expectations are controlled, and which measures the transfer of learning from the intervention to the neurocognitive functions under study (Boot et al., 2011; Boot & Simons, 2012; Boot et al., 2013; Simons et al., 2016; Shawn Green, Strobach, & Schubert, 2014; Dale & Shawn Green, 2017; García- Betances, Cabrera-Umpiérrez, & Arredondo, 2017; Schubert, Strobach, & Karbach, 2014; Seitz, 2018). Trying to follow these guidelines, we conducted two randomized interventions to analyze the effects of brain-game training on memory and attentional functions in young and older adults. A recent meta-analysis of action video game training studies found that healthy young and older adults benefited from training in overall and specific cognitive domains, but that young adults benefited more than older adults (Wang et al., 2017). It has been studied that brain neuroplasticity continues throughout the lifespan, but how the changes are regulated depends on age (Kolb & Muhammad, 2014; Merzenich, Van Vleet, & Nahum, 2014). Neurocognitive decline associated with normal aging mainly affects memory (working memory, episodic memory, information retrieval and consolidation), executive functions (decision making, problem solving and mental control), attentional networks (selective and divided attention and visuospatial abilities) and reaction times. Thus, it is a priority to investigate the effects of cognitive stimulation programs and optimize them. Among these programs, video games offer many advantages because they are enjoyable, adaptive and engaging for aging people (Chesham, Wyss, Müri, Mosimann, & Nef, 2017) Moreover, neurocognitive deficits associated with normal aging usually occur in pathological aging, with differences in degree, intensity, frequency and temporal distribution (de Flores, La Joie, & Chételat, 2015; Hullinger & Puglielli, 2017). It is therefore essential to study normal and pathological aging, the mechanisms that these processes share, and the stimulation programs that could help to avoid or attenuate them. We firstly conducted an intervention with healthy older adults to measure the effects of non-action adaptive mental games on the cognition of older and young participants, specifically working memory, selective attention, distraction and response inhibition. The results showed that brain games and other kinds of video games such as simulation games could positively benefit the attention and working memory of older adults, but the effects are moderate in terms of near and far transfer of learning. However, older adults showed no gains in inhibitory control after training with non-action video games. Then, we conducted a second intervention with adults aging between 18 and 35 years old. Analysis showed that young adults can transfer learning from non-action adaptive brain games to attention and visuo-spatial working memory with moderate effect sizes, and the positive results could also be obtained with other non-action video games such as simulation games. Nonetheless, playing non-action video games did not improve inhibition responses in young adults either. However, as we did not have a non- intervention control group, we cannot conclude that adaptive non-active video games had an effect. Future studies should include both an active control group and a no-contact group.
Materia(s) Psicología
Editor(es) Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (España). Escuela Internacional de Doctorado. Programa de Doctorado en Psicología de la Salud
Director de tesis Ballesteros Jiménez, Soledad
Fecha 2019-10-07
Formato application/pdf
Identificador tesisuned:ED-Pg-PsiSal-Eruiz
Idioma eng
Versión de la publicación acceptedVersion
Nivel de acceso y licencia
Tipo de recurso Thesis
Tipo de acceso Acceso abierto
Notas adicionales Título en español: Efectos del entrenamiento con videojuegos en atención y memoria en adultos jóvenes y mayores. Medidas conductuales

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Creado: Thu, 07 Nov 2019, 20:00:43 CET