Habitual action video game players display increased cortical thickness in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex

Neuroreport. 2018 Mar 21;29(5):393-396. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0000000000000981.


Action video game players (aVGPs) display increased performance in attention-based tasks and enhanced procedural motor learning. In parallel, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is centrally implicated in specific types of reward-based learning and attentional control, the execution or inhibition of motor commands, and error detection. These processes are hypothesized to support aVGP in-game performance and enhanced learning though in-game feedback. We, therefore, tested the hypothesis that habitual aVGPs would display increased cortical thickness compared with nonvideo game players (nonVGPs). Results showed that the aVGP group (n=17) displayed significantly higher levels of cortical thickness specifically in the dorsal ACC compared with the nonVGP group (n=16). Results are discussed in the context of previous findings examining video game experience, attention/performance, and responses to affective components such as pain and fear.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attention
  • Female
  • Gyrus Cinguli / anatomy & histology
  • Gyrus Cinguli / diagnostic imaging*
  • Habits
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Organ Size
  • Practice, Psychological
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Video Games*