Extensive video-game experience alters cortical networks for complex visuomotor transformations

Cortex. 2010 Oct;46(9):1165-77. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2009.10.009. Epub 2009 Nov 4.


Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we examined the effect of video-game experience on the neural control of increasingly complex visuomotor tasks. Previously, skilled individuals have demonstrated the use of a more efficient movement control brain network, including the prefrontal, premotor, primary sensorimotor and parietal cortices. Our results extend and generalize this finding by documenting additional prefrontal cortex activity in experienced video gamers planning for complex eye-hand coordination tasks that are distinct from actual video-game play. These changes in activation between non-gamers and extensive gamers are putatively related to the increased online control and spatial attention required for complex visually guided reaching. These data suggest that the basic cortical network for processing complex visually guided reaching is altered by extensive video-game play.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Video Games*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*