The empirical analysis of non-problematic video gaming and cognitive skills: a systematic review

Nuyens, F.M. ORCID: 0000-0002-8125-5229, Kuss, D.J. ORCID: 0000-0001-8917-782X, Lopez-Fernandez, O. ORCID: 0000-0002-4294-9156 and Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, 2019. The empirical analysis of non-problematic video gaming and cognitive skills: a systematic review. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 17 (2), pp. 389-414. ISSN 1557-1874

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Videogames have become one of the most popular leisure activities worldwide, including multiple game genres with different characteristics and levels of involvement required. Although a small minority of excessive players suffer detrimental consequences including impairment of several cognitive skills (e.g., inhibition, decision-making), it has also been demonstrated that playing videogames can improve different cognitive skills. Therefore, the current paper systematically reviewed the empirical studies experimentally investigating the positive impact of videogames on cognitive skills. Following a number of inclusion and exclusion criteria, a total of 32 papers were identified as empirically investigating three specific skills: taskswitching (eight studies), attentional control (22 studies), and sub-second time perception (two studies). Results demonstrated that compared to control groups, non-problematic use of videogames can lead to improved task-switching, more effective top-down attentional control and processing speed and increased sub-second time perception. Two studies highlighted the impact of gaming on cognitive skills differs depends upon game genre. The studies reviewed suggest that videogame play can have a positive impact on cognitive processes for players.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Creators: Nuyens, F.M., Kuss, D.J., Lopez-Fernandez, O. and Griffiths, M.D.
Publisher: Springer US
Date: April 2019
Volume: 17
Number: 2
ISSN: 1557-1874
9946Publisher Item Identifier
Rights: Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 26 Jun 2018 12:47
Last Modified: 07 May 2019 12:43

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