The relationship between internet-gaming experience and executive functions measured by virtual environment compared with conventional laboratory multitasks

Yong Quan Chen, Shulan Hsieh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate if individuals with frequent internet gaming (IG) experience exhibited better or worse multitasking ability compared with those with infrequent IG experience. The individuals’ multitasking abilities were measured using virtual environment multitasks, such as Edinburgh Virtual Errands Test (EVET), and conventional laboratory multitasks, such as the dual task and task switching. Seventy-two young healthy college students participated in this study. They were split into two groups based on the time spent on playing online games, as evaluated using the Internet Use Questionnaire. Each participant performed EVET, dual-task, and task-switching paradigms on a computer. The current results showed that the frequent IG group performed better on EVET compared with the infrequent IG group, but their performance on the dual-task and task-switching paradigms did not differ significantly. The results suggest that the frequent IG group exhibited better multitasking efficacy if measured using a more ecologically valid task, but not when measured using a conventional laboratory multitasking task. The differences in terms of the subcomponents of executive function measured by these task paradigms were discussed. The current results show the importance of the task effect while evaluating frequent internet gamers’ multitasking ability.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0198339
JournalPloS one
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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