Brown Bag Talk by Takashi Obana on Feb 19


Speaker: Mr. Takashi Obana

Title: Enhanced visual-spatial and attentional states experienced by expert video game players as a result of first-person shooter action video-gaming

Date: 19 Feb 2014, 12pm

Venue: AS4/02-08 (Psychology Department Meeting Room)


The existence of ‘flow’ where individuals exhibit exceptional human performance has been suggested by phenomenological research but has surprisingly been overlooked in the domain of cognitive psychology. Although researchers have speculated that action video-gaming might produce the state of “flow” experience, the previous experimental studies have thus far focused primarily on the long-term (trait) effects that result from action video-gaming, while overlooking possible short-term effects characterizing the state of “flow”. This research investigates whether playing action video-games can induce the state of flow characterized by increased attentional capacities. We compared the baseline performance of experienced action video game players on a number of visual imagery, attentional network, and attentional blink tasks, with their performances on these tasks immediately after half an hour of action video-gaming, and then after half an hour of rest. The results indicate dramatic improvement in performance on the tasks that require selective attention (visual memory, executive network, attentional blink) immediately after video game playing. However, the improvement is temporary and dissipates after half an hour of rest. The findings indicate the existence of flow states characterized by enhanced selective attention and imply the possibility to consciously access the latent resources of our brain to temporarily boost our attentional capacity upon demand.

About the Speaker:

I have been doing a research about optimal experience (i.e. what Abraham Maslow calls peak-experience) using phenomenological method. After I came to NUS, I have focused on the cognitive and neural correlates of similar optimal experience called flow using action video-game.

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