Real-time strategy video game experience and structural connectivity – A diffusion tensor imaging study

Natalia Kowalczyk , Feng Shi , Mikołaj Magnuski , Maciej Skorko , Paweł Dobrowolski , Bartosz Kossowski , Artur Marchewka , Maksymilian Bielecki , Małgorzata Kossut , Aneta Brzezicka


Experienced video game players exhibit superior performance in visuospatial cognition when compared to non‐players. However, very little is known about the relation between video game experience and structural brain plasticity. To address this issue, a direct comparison of the white matter brain structure in RTS (real time strategy) video game players (VGPs) and non‐players (NVGPs) was performed. We hypothesized that RTS experience can enhance connectivity within and between occipital and parietal regions, as these regions are likely to be involved in the spatial and visual abilities that are trained while playing RTS games. The possible influence of long‐term RTS game play experience on brain structural connections was investigated using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and a region of interest (ROI) approach in order to describe the experience‐related plasticity of white matter. Our results revealed significantly more total white matter connections between occipital and parietal areas and within occipital areas in RTS players compared to NVGPs. Additionally, the RTS group had an altered topological organization of their structural network, expressed in local efficiency within the occipito‐parietal subnetwork. Furthermore, the positive association between network metrics and time spent playing RTS games suggests a close relationship between extensive, long‐term RTS game play and neuroplastic changes. These results indicate that long‐term and extensive RTS game experience induces alterations along axons that link structures of the occipito‐parietal loop involved in spatial and visual processing
Author Natalia Kowalczyk (Wydział Psychologii)
Natalia Kowalczyk,,
- Wydział Psychologii
, Feng Shi
Feng Shi,,
, Mikołaj Magnuski (Wydział Psychologii)
Mikołaj Magnuski,,
- Wydział Psychologii
, Maciej Skorko
Maciej Skorko,,
, Paweł Dobrowolski
Paweł Dobrowolski,,
, Bartosz Kossowski
Bartosz Kossowski,,
, Artur Marchewka
Artur Marchewka,,
, Maksymilian Bielecki (Wydział Psychologii)
Maksymilian Bielecki,,
- Wydział Psychologii
, Małgorzata Kossut
Małgorzata Kossut,,
, Aneta Brzezicka (Wydział Psychologii)
Aneta Brzezicka,,
- Wydział Psychologii
Journal seriesHuman Brain Mapping, ISSN 1065-9471, (A 45 pkt)
Issue year2018
Publication size in sheets0.8
Keywords in Englishdiffusion tensor imaging, occipital and parietal regions, real-time strategy, structural connectivity, video games, visuospatial cognition
ASJC Classification2728 Clinical Neurology; 2808 Neurology; 2741 Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging; 3614 Radiological and Ultrasound Technology; 2702 Anatomy
Languageen angielski
Max Bielecki.pdf 1.1 MB
Additional file
Oświadczenie Max Bielecki.pdf 94.06 KB
Oświadczenie_N.Kowalczyk.pdf 17.38 KB
oświadczenie_A.Brzezicka.pdf 18.34 KB
Oświadczenie_M.Magnuski_Real-time.pdf 17.14 KB
Score (nominal)45
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 1.346; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 4.927 (2) - 2017=5.431 (5)
Citation count*11 (2021-02-27)
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